Police: Missing Ariz. girl most likely kidnapped

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX (AP) -- Police looking for a 5-year-old Arizona girl who has been missing six days said Monday they now believe she was most likely kidnapped, because otherwise they would have found her.

Jahessye Shockley was last seen by her three older siblings last Tuesday at her Glendale home while their mother was running an errand. Police believe she left their apartment through the front door but don't know anything about what happened next.

"If it was just her walking away, we would have found her by now," Coombs told The Associated Press. "Obviously she's not with us. Somebody knows something or somebody has interacted with her and put her in a place, and we just haven't found her yet."

Police have no suspects, evidence or promising leads.

Coombs said the girl's mother is not a suspect despite comments she made to reporters.

"They're treating me like that - the interrogations and the way I've been spoken to," Jerice Hunter, Jahessy's mother, said Monday in an interview with the AP. "(They're) very disrespectful."

Coombs said police have treated Hunter no differently than any other mother of a missing child. They conducted an initial interview as well as follow-ups because "people remember things, details, as time goes by."

He said Hunter might believe she's a suspect because "emotions are speaking."

Meanwhile, Jahessye's grandmother told The Arizona Republic on Sunday that Child Protective Services removed Hunter's three other children from her home and put them in foster care.

CPS spokesman Steve Meissner said Monday he couldn't immediately confirm or deny the agency's involvement. He cited an Arizona law that allows for information about children to be released only if there has been a death or near death caused by child abuse, abandonment or neglect.

Coombs declined to comment about the children's whereabouts, saying only that they're in a safe place.

Hunter also declined to speak about her other children but pleaded for Jahessye's safe return.

"I would really appreciate anybody who has any information, anyone who thinks they have seen anything, to contact the police," she said. "If you have my child, please take her to a safe place, a public place where she can be located."

She added: "The family will not be the same until the child is returned, and I will be relentless in my search."

Monday morning statement from the Glendale Police Department

"The Men and Women of the Glendale Police Department, along with our other law enforcement partners, remain committed to finding 5yr old Jahessye Shockley. Investigators worked through the weekend, and continue this morning to examine every detail of every interview, every tip and every contact with residents during the canvas. We also continue to ask the community to be hyper-aware of their surroundings and call in if they see anything that might help us find Jahessye. We would like to make a plea to anyone in the community who might be with information that they have not yet provided to us, for whatever reason, to please call immediately. Let us be the ones to determine whether the tip is relevant.

"The Glendale Police Department’s level of commitment have not wavered, even though it might not be as visible as the original canvas effort. We will provide information to the community through media as soon as we have substantive facts to report, or when there is a break in the case. "