Mom's Arrest in Missing Jhessye Shockley Case Could Blow This Case Wide Open

This Just In 9

Jhessye ShockleyIf the name Jhessye Shockley rings a bell, it's probably because you were hearing it a lot last fall. The 5-year-old Arizona girl disappeared from her home on October 11, 2011, and she's still missing. But here's something that could finally give us answers in her case: her mom, Jerice Hunter, has been arrested.

Or maybe I should say "arrested again." Hunter has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse. Although they haven't found Jhessye, prosecutors allege she's dead and that her mom is to blame. If it's true, this could be the best chance of finding out what happened to her.

Sadly, I think a lot of us saw this day coming. Because as we heard more about the day that Jhessye went missing, we also heard more about Jerice Hunter's shady past.

Jerice Hunter lost custody of her three older kids -- the oldest of whom was 13 at the time -- more or less immediately after it was reported that the 5-year-old was left home alone with them the day she disappeared. A few weeks later, Jerice gave birth, and that baby was removed from her care as well. Social services had merit: Jerice had served time in a California prison for corporal punishment of children. The Golden State has placed restrictions on her access to her kids, and because she'd given custody to Jhessye shortly before her incarceration, the little girl spent much of her early years being raised by someone else.

To top it all off, she spent much of last fall refusing to cooperate with police and spouting off in the media about how they were racist. She wasn't exactly acting like your typical concerned mom wondering where her daughter was. And cops say that Jhessye's siblings said their mom abused their little sister and would lock her in a closet.

Cops arrested Hunter last year on child abuse charges in hopes that they could flush out some information about what happened to the missing girl. It didn't work -- the charges were dropped. Here we are nearly a year later, and we don't have answers.

Then again, they only charged her with child abuse. Maybe it wasn't scary enough for a woman who had already done hard time for whipping her kids with an extension cord.

Now Jerice Hunter is facing first-degree murder. That's the kind of charge that could put her away for life. Maybe this is what she needed: another arrest, a real wake-up call. If that doesn't scare her into cooperating, I don't know what will.

Do you think arresting this mom on murder charges will give us answers?


Image via Missing Kids

crime, death, child abuse, missing person


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Texas... TexasSonrisa

Sterilization would be appropriate in this case. What a precious little angel. Prayers for the children left in this mess. 

Net1957 Net1957

She needs to spend the rest of her life in prison!

cmjaz cmjaz

I can't believe she wasn't arrested for murder before this. The other kids told police that Jhyesse was dead in the closet. Crazy

RobJar RobJar

I'm so confused in this case. There is no evidence what so ever against the mom. The police claim that she dumped the body in a dumpster, and yet they searched the landfill where the dumpster was emptied, and found nothing. I do hope the police are not being quick to make judgement in this case, if they are there is a monster running around out there.

wamom223 wamom223

This story breaks my heart.  I can't even look at Jhessye's picture with out crying.  I don't know what the answer is to find her but I don't think the mother should have had custody with her past.

AniAngel AniAngel

There is evidence against the mother. It's not at all unusual for the prosecution to drop the case early on in order to be sure they have every possible fact for a later conviction. The reality is that mother beat all her children and most likely beat this one to death then dumped her body. Sterilize/castrate criminals who abuse children.

geeky... geekychick

I helped look for this little girl when she went missing. I lived near the neighborhood and spent days checking trash cans and back allies. It such a sad story. i met the mother and I truly believe she did this. The mother and grandmother spent so much time trying to say the cops weren't looking for her and trying to say the cops were racist. The grandmother flat out said once this isn't about Jhessye this was about the cops treating them bad for being black. The mother was always changing her story to us about little things and the other kids where scared to death of their own mother. It was such a horrible thing to see. I hope she finally admits what she did.  

LadyAsh4 LadyAsh4

I hope that Jhessy's killer is brought to justice. RIP sweet girl.

Tina Goff

When are they going to stop giving children back to the parents who abuse them?  A child ends up dead and then it's all over the news that the parent or parents were in trouble for child abuse in the past.  It's rediculous, DON'T GIVE THEM BACK. 

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