Your Black News reports:
The nation has been on high-alert, frantically looking for a trace of little Jhessye Shockley since her disappearance over two months ago from the Phoenix, Arizona suburb of Glendale.
Now detectives have reported that it is believed that the girl has been dead at least that long, murdered and then dumped in a trash bin before being reported missing by her mother, Jerice Hunter.
Glendale police Sgt. Brent Coombs confirmed Wednesday that Hunter is still the “No. 1 focus.”
“We’re in what we believed to be the worst-case scenario from the beginning,” Coombs said.
Hunter was arrested on a child abuse charge last month related to Jhessye, and at that time, authorities said they doubted they would find the child alive.
Prosecutors were hesitant to pursue the child abuse charge because if convicted, they assert that she would not have been able to be charged with her daughter’s murder if, indeed, she was determined to be responsible.
Detectives now believe that Jhessye’s body is in a land-fill outside of Phoenix, and say that they are going to be as meticulous as possible while searching for her:
“There’s such a scientific method behind trying to pinpoint a location within a particular cell within that landfill. It’s a very difficult thing to do,” he said, also noting that decomposition is an issue. “The reason we’re taking such a long time is we want to be as confident as we can be prior to starting any operation that we’re going to do the very best job we can.”
Reporting her missing on Oct. 11, Hunter told police that she left the house to run errands for her older children, only to return home to find Jhessye gone.
Jhessye’s older sister testified that her mother was lying, according to court documents, and that not only had she not seen her sister since September, but that her mother was cleaning her shoes and a closet that she kept her in a few days before reporting her missing.
“(She) reported that Jhessye’s hair had been pulled out and described Jhessye as not looking alive and that she looked like a zombie,” the document said. “(She) said that the closet where Jhessye had been looked like a grave and smelled like dead people.”
The teen further claimed that her sister had black eyes, cuts and bruises, and was deprived of food and water while she was in the closet.
In October 2005, Hunter was arrested with her then-husband, George Shockley on child abuse charges. She pleaded “no contest” to corporal punishment, serving four years in prison before being released for parole in May 2010. Shockley is a registered sex-offender and remains in a California prison.
Child welfare workers removed all of Hunter’s other children from the home after little Jhessye was reported missing, and to date, Hunter refuses to submit to a lie-detector test.