Glendale Police to Search Landfill For Body of Missing 5-Year-Old Jhessye Shockley

shockley.jpg
Glendale PD
Jhessye Shockley was reported missing on October 11. Police suspect her mother killed her and threw her body in a trash can.
The Glendale Police Department says it will move forward with plans to search a landfill south of Phoenix for the body of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley, who's been missing since October.

Glendale police told New Times last month that the case is now a homicide investigation, with Shockley's mother, Jerice Hunter, as the primary focus.

The decision to search the landfill comes after police say they received information that the 5-year-old's body was thrown in a Tempe trash can.

Trash from the location where police suspect Jhessye was dumped is taken to the Butterfield Landfill south of the Valley.

Detectives, as police told us last month, will only search a landfill if there's a likelihood that they'll be able to find a body.

Jhessye was reported missing on October 11. Since then, Hunter's played the role of a concerned, grieving mother. However, the Glendale P.D.'s investigation revealed that Hunter served time in prison for abusing her other children. Detectives also determined that Hunter locked the girl in a closet for what may have been weeks before reporting her missing.

According to court records obtained by New Times, two of Jhessye's siblings, who are now in foster care, told their foster parents about some of the abuse Jhessye received at the hands of Hunter, who spent four years in a California prison for child abuse -- and scolded us last month for asking whether she hurt her daughter .

Jhessye's 13-year-old sister told her foster parents that several weeks before the little girl was reported missing, Hunter came home and found her watching TV with a boy from the neighborhood. The girl told her foster parents -- and later police -- that Hunter called Jhessye a "ho" and dragged her into a bedroom where the sister could hear Jhessye screaming and crying.

Following the apparent beating, Hunter kept the child in a closet. Her sister told police she had to bring the 5-year-old water when Hunter was out so she wouldn't become dehydrated. She would let the her out when Hunter was gone, but quickly put Jhessye back when Hunter got home to keep her from getting in trouble.

The sister also told investigators that she saw bruises and cuts on Jhessye's face and body while she was kept in the closet, and that her eyes were black and only slightly open.

The 13-year-old also told police that her sister's hair had been pulled out and that she didn't look alive. The older sibling described Jhessye as looking like a "zombie" and that the closet she was kept in smelled like "dead people" and was like a "grave."

All of the alleged abuse happened weeks before Hunter called police on October 11. The last time anyone saw Jhessye alive was September 22, which was the last time records show her attending school. Her sisters say they never saw Jhessye the day her mother reported her missing, when Hunter told police that the older siblings were watching the girl as she ran errands.

On October 9, Hunter bought a bottle of bleach at a Walgreens. She then cleaned the entire apartment and scrubbed her shoes that were in the closet with Jhessye with bleach, the sister told police.

Court records also show that Hunter was suspected of child abuse in April, and a report was filed. It's unclear whether Child Protective Services was alerted about the reported abuse.

Hunter has made sobbing attempts to declare her innocence since the day she reported her daughter missing more than two weeks after she was last seen alive. She's blamed everyone from the media to the Glendale Police Department for not locating her daughter. When we spoke to her, Hunter went ballistic when we asked if she had hurt her daughter.

"I really think they should take the focus off of me and quit asking people -- wasting time -- if I did something to my daughter," Hunter told us last month. "They should quit holding my babies hostage and trying to get them to say something [about what happened to Jahessye]. [Authorities are] telling me 'your kids aren't saying anything.' It's been 13 days. What do they expect my babies to say that they haven't already said? [CPS] don't wanna hear 'we love our mama, we wanna go home we want our mommy' -- they don't wanna hear that. They won't let me see them because they don't want them running into my arms. They don't wanna hear them scream 'mommy.'"

Hunter was arrested last month on child-abuse charges but wasn't officially charged because the Maricopa County Attorney's Office didn't want to create a double-jeopardy situation if police could gather enough evidence to later charge her with murder.

No date has been set to search the landfill, but expect to spend several weeks looking through trash for Shockley's body.
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15 comments
Ynot_laugh2
Ynot_laugh2

Why after this mother served four years for child abuse was she again allowed custody of her children in the first place? Whatever she did to get four years in prison must have been really bad.

Tamarah
Tamarah

if you've paid attention she wasnt given custody legaly a family member had legal custody but gave the children back to that monster for who knows why

liberal forever
liberal forever

it would be honky kill baby girl. amerika be like south afrika. racist cracker can find black oil but not black childs under the ground. you all white racist better vowt four obama dont want no stupid people in as the presdent

Jdoe
Jdoe

I have heard about Glendale PD doing a search at the landfill since October!  It's now 3 months later, so how much more talk about searching the landfill are you going to do?  I know about 20 people that are willing to help search as we did the neighborhoods, just give us the sign and we'll be out there waiting.  At this point (3 months) later if there is a body it's decomposed.

CSINurse
CSINurse

And you need to know that after 3 months a body would not be fully decomposed. Leave the details to the experts.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Was Grand Junction your agency?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

No. I lived in Mesa County after I retired. Mesa County Sheriff Office, however, does an excellent job. Check their web site for more information.

With a professional law officer at the top Maricopa County Sheriff Office could be just as good, if not better. I feel badly that the good folks at MCSO have to endure the shurf and his antics.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

small world...I applied with Grand Junction PD the same time I applied here.  I got a job offer here first, however I love Co and can't wait for the opportunity to move there.

Mesa Cowboys?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

In a similar situation in Grand Junction, CO the body of one of the two victims was found in a landfill seven months after she was killed.

http://www.thedenverchannel.co...

It's very possible, given LOTS of luck, that this victim might actually be found.

This would give some closure to those who need it.

And perhaps prosecution.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

"I really
think they should take the focus off of me and quit asking people --
wasting time -- if I did something to my daughter," Hunter told us last
month. "They should quit holding my babies hostage and trying to get
them to say something [about what happened to Jahessye]. [Authorities
are] telling me 'your kids aren't saying anything.' It's been 13 days.
What do they expect my babies to say that they haven't already said?
[CPS] don't wanna hear 'we love our mama, we wanna go home we want our
mommy' -- they don't wanna hear that. They won't let me see them because
they don't want them running into my arms. They don't wanna hear them
scream 'mommy.'" Does this delusional twit actually think that her kids want to be around her so they could be abused more?

deathpenaltyman
deathpenaltyman

Once again I say, she ought to be in jail along with her fucking scumbag father who is protecting her.

Jason
Jason

How sad to think that this little girl was thrown away like a piece of garbage.

I sure as hell hope the mother (who is the prime suspect) is freakin indicted and perp-walked. Prisoners in the GP (general population) really don't like child killers.

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

I usually don't believe in the deathpenalty for most crimes. This one would be one where I think it might be appropriate. I hope the mother is at least arrested for the murder of her child, probably through abuse!

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