Heat forces search for Jhessye Shockley to start earlier at landfill

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Updated Friday, Apr 6 at 7:41 PM

GLENDALE -- Several months ago, Glendale Police announced they had reason to believe someone dumped the body of missing five year old Jhessye Shockley in Tempe, and that her body may be in the Butterfield landfill south of the Valley.

In the nine weeks since the search began , not much about the scene has changed. But the seasons have, and that has Glendale Police scheduling shifts to an earlier time.

"Our personnel are meeting at about 4:30 am and they're on the deck working by 6:00 am and they're going to about 1:00 pm and then heading back," said Officer Tracey Breeden with Glendale Police.

It's all to avoid the mid-day heat. 125 people have helped in this search since it started, most spending their shift fully suited up from the neck down with vests, gloves and boots. Digging through the tons of trash is hot work.

"They said it really helped to not be out there in the afternoon with the heat with all the suits and all the stuff they have to wear, it's very difficult," said Officer Breeden.

But Police say their motivation hasn't suffered. Teams still sort through 40 to 50 truckloads of trash a day and they feel closer than ever to finding Jhessye.

"We are in the heart of the cell at this point," she said. "We're definitely in the area that we believe has a high probability of locating Jhessye."

Police say the change in hours won't slow them down. It'll just keep those searchers safe for the search, be it a few more days, weeks or months.

"Hopefully we wont make it to the summer, hopefully we'll find her before then," said Officer Breeden.

Jhessye Shockley would have turned six years old on April 1st.

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