Glendale police plan their search of landfill for Jhessye Shockley

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Jhessye Shockley By Jennifer Thomas Jhessye Shockley By Jennifer Thomas

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Five-year-old Jhessye Shockley disappeared nine weeks ago, and for the first time, Glendale police feel fairly confident that they know what happened to her body.

Glendale police say there is reason to believe Jhessye's body is buried underneath months of trash at the Butterfield Landfill south of the Valley. That, from a lead and evidence that came in only in the last 30 days.

"Prior to Jhessye's reported disappearance by her mother, Jhessye was placed in a trash receptacle in the dity of Tempe," said Sgt. Brent Coombs with the Glendale Police Department.

Police say trash from that location is taken to Butterfield, but they aren't sharing any more details other than that Jhessye's mom, Jerice Hunter, is still the focus of the investigation.

Neighbors say they find it hard to connect Hunter with a trip to Tempe, starting with her mode of transportation.

"I just was wondering how because she takes cabs everywhere," said neighbor Katherine White. "Jerice takes cabs everywhere. I mean, how?"

Hunter's attorney agrees and questions if there's any truth to the tip.

"It wouldn't make sense if the information was reliable and accurate the investigation down there wouldn't commence down there immediately," Scott Maasen said.

Glendale police say they've taken their time because of how difficult it is to search a landfill. They say they may only have one shot and if she's there, they want to find her.