Abuse detailed in Jhessye Shockley case

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Mike Watkiss

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 22 at 6:01 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Court documents released Tuesday detail abuse related to the case of a 5-year-old Glendale girl who has been missing since Oct. 11.

The documents say that Jhessye Shockley's teenage sister told police that their mother, Jerice Hunter, kept the little girl in a closet. The teen also told investigators that she had seen several bruises and cuts on Jhessye's face and body.

The girl said the closet "looked like a grave and smelled like dead people," the court paperwork states.

The sister said that Hunter told her and her siblings to lie to police about Jhessye being missing.

The teen said that a few days before Jhessye was reported missing, Hunter had spent the entire day cleaning the apartment and had cleaned her shoes from the closet with soap and bleach. Police said credit card records indicate Hunter had purchased a bottle of bleach on Oct. 9.

Hunter was arrested Monday on a felony count of child abuse.

Hunter had her first court appearance Tuesday morning and said she was innocent. She is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Glendale police Sgt. Brent Coombs said investigators don't believe they'll find Jhessye alive.

Child Protective Services removed Hunter's other children from her home last month.

Hunter previously served prison time in California for child abuse. She was released on parole in May 2010.

 
 

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