Jhessye Shockley's Mother Has Been Arrested, but Girl's Still Missing, One Year Later
Yesterday, the Glendale Police Department sent out a reminder that exactly one year ago, police were called to a south Glendale apartment complex for a report of a missing 5-year-old girl, Jhessye Shockley.
Jhessye's still missing a year later, but police presume she's dead, and her mother, Jerice Hunter, has recently been charged in her death.
Glendale police recently released a report totaling more than 1,000 pages, and spanning the length of the entire investigation.
Those documents detail investigators following up on tons of tips, even though many tipsters were just phoning in rumors -- several people reported a rumor they'd heard about Jhessye being killed and put in a freezer.
There's even a report of a "psychic" who left a message with police about her theory, and as you can imagine, it's not the same theory police used to build the case against Hunter.
There were, however, useful tips -- like the one that very likely led police to an exhaustive, months-long search of a landfill, which did not lead to the recovery of Jhessye's body.
As first discovered by KPHO, a woman told police about six weeks after Jhessye was reported missing that she gave Hunter a ride to Tempe -- where police would eventually say they believed Jhessye's body was thrown in a dumpster.
The woman said that either one week or two weeks before Hunter reported her daughter was missing, Hunter got in her car with a suitcase, and "apologized for the smell of the suitcase," the police report says.
When they got to Tempe, Hunter took the "large suitcase" and threw it in a dumpster. After the woman told police about this, investigators got a search warrant for the woman's car. Police did find traces of blood in the trunk, according to the police report.
The entire theory of Hunter's involvement hasn't been presented, but it's probably going to involve that woman giving Hunter a ride to Tempe.
Below, read the statement from Glendale police, one year after Hunter reported that her daughter was missing:
The Glendale Police Department would like to acknowledge the significance of today as the one year anniversary of the investigation into the disappearance of Jhessye Shockley. On October 11, 2011, officers were called to an apartment complex in south Glendale for what would later evolve into an approximate yearlong investigation that would have a significant impact on the lives of many people in our community, and would change a family forever.
As we look back on the year, we are saddened by the circumstances that we know lead to the disappearance and death of Jhessye and the arrest of Jerice Hunter, and yet we are encouraged by the outpouring of support from our law enforcement partners and the community as a whole. Rarely does an investigation invoke so many different emotions for so many people. None of us will ever forget little Jhessye, and remembrance of her weighs heavily upon our hearts today.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.
- The Time Jared from Subway Hit On Me
Sat., Sep. 12, 6:00pm
Sat., Sep. 12, 8:00pm
Sun., Sep. 13, 1:05pm
Mon., Sep. 14, 6:40pm
- Ecologist Dies on Rugged Grand Canyon Trail After Falling in Gully
- Arizona's Measles Vaccination Rate Worst in Nation, CDC Says