Last month, we told you about 5-year-old Jahessye Shockley who went missing from her Arizona home in October. Back then, Jahessye’s mother, Jerice Hunter, said she went to run a few errands and left little Jahessye with her older siblings, but when she returned, the girl was missing.
As the story of Jahessye’s disappearance began to spread, many started to take a hard look at her mother. While Hunter was pregnant with Jahessye, she was arrested and sentenced to eight years in prison for child abuse, and her husband—a convicted sex offender—is currently serving time in prison. Just last month, Arizona’s Child Protective Services again took Hunter’s children away over suspected abuse, which according to the older children, has gone on for years.
After accusing the media and the police of focusing too much attention on her, and not on finding Jahessye, it seems like Hunter is now the police’s main suspect.
Yesterday, Hunter was arrested on child abuse charges “directly related” to Jahessye’s disappearance. In a news conference, police officials told the media that Hunter was “the number one focus” of their investigation. Glendale police Sgt. Brent Coombs said that Hunter had not cooperated with the investigation, and they no longer think little Jahessye is still alive.
Although they don’t believe the five-year-old is alive, police say they will continue to search for Jahessye.
“I’d like to make it very clear that this is by no means the end to this investigation,” Coombs said. “Our investigators will continue to work diligently to locate Jahessye. This is just a step down that investigative path towards that final conclusion.”
During the booking hearing, Hunter reportedly asked the commissioner what she was being charged with. After becoming frustrated with the lack of response, she said police were out to get her.
“They told me they were going to get me, and now they’re doing it, like they said,” Hunter said during the hearing.
Little Jahessye has been missing since October 11 and police are still investigating her disappearance and possible murder.