Jhessye Shockley Disappearance: Police to Start Searching Landfill For Body February 6

shockley.jpg
Glendale Police Department
Glendale police suspect the body of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley is in a landfill south of the Valley.
Glendale police announced this morning that investigators will start searching a landfill south of the Valley for the body of missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley on February 6.

Shockley was reported missing in October. The case is now a homicide investigation, with her mother, Jerice Hunter, as the prime focus of the investigation -- police suspect she murdered the girl and dumped her body in a trash can in Tempe.

Authorities say at least 40 people from agencies including the Glendale Police Department, the FBI, and the Child Abduction Response Team, will be at Butterfield Landfill in Mobile everyday until the search is complete.

Investigators have narrowed down a 180x200-foot area of the landfill where they suspect Shockley's remains might be. The area is 20 feet deep, which amounts to about 6,000 tons of trash investigators will have to sift through. 


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.

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11 comments
blackcatsearching
blackcatsearching

 Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account
it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could
we communicate?

PTCGAZ
PTCGAZ

The lack of comments are because some of us are sick of hearing about it.The story was over reported at the start. And we all know that the mom did it.. from her constantly whining about how the police are doing nothing. well she will eventually be arrested and charged with murder.

Guest
Guest

how or why could anyone hurt a kid?

Joeaverage
Joeaverage

Notice the lack of comments on here? that should tell you all that you need to know. no one cares about missing black kids.  they just pretend to.

Vic
Vic

I feel like I'm in that Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day.  I could swear I've heard this same
announcement to the Glendale Police every week for the last two months!  What the hell is
going on?

1661az
1661az

 Search the landfill finally? maybe? one day? soon? they must be the slowest cops in America but if she was a white girl it would have already been done.

Margie
Margie

 Why do humans hurt other humans is the big question?  its always been that way since the old days of mankind. maybe its cause we are all selfish mean assholes?

Margie
Margie

 GEE I DONT KNOW? possibly there is evil and sin in this evil 666 world controlled by evil from Satan?  but im also pretty sure you dont like my answer. believe it or not there are evil forces at work in our world.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Joe, that's not true.  It's just that the mother and grandmother have been playing the race card so frequently and so loudly on this story that we're really tired of hearing them.  It appears quite certain that the police are convinced that Jerice killed her daughter and threw her body in the trash.  They know for a fact that searching the landfill could cost the City of Glendale hundreds of thousands of dollars and their odds of finding the body are slim.  I believe they've been fiscally responsible by delaying the search in hopes of finding other concrete evidence of what happened.  This story has gotten just as much, if not more, attention as any other missing child.

Theblues
Theblues

 No one cares about anyone or anything they just pretend to. ask any homeless guy or girl if anyone cars about them, they will sadly say nope. nobody knows you when your down and out.

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