Jahessye Shockley, the Glendale, Ariz., 5-year-old who went missing Oct. 11, has still not come home. Amidst reports of race bias and a police force who is not making finding Jahessye a priority. The Glendale Police Department has said they believe this is a kidnapping, because they have done extensive searches through the neighborhood. More than 100 officers and volunteers have looked in pools, garbage bins, and shrubs, interviewed and searched the homes of registered sex offenders in the area, and stopped at every door to spread news about the disappearance. The family still believes that because Jahessye is black, the police are not doing all they can. The also believe they are persecuting Jerice Hunter, mother of Jahessye, because of her criminal backround.
It came to light that Jahessye’s mother, Jerice Hunter, was charged with child abuse and sentenced to four years in prison. Her husband at the time, George Hunter, was arrested on the same charge and is still in prison. He is a registered sex offender. While many agree this should not hamper the search for Jahessye, more claims have been made by one of the four cousins who raised Jahessye, the first four years of her life. Mahogany Hightower has said she called State Children Services several times because she believed that Jahessye and a sister were being abused. Ms. Hightower said she last saw Jahessye at a family barbecue in April. She said Jahessye had cried and cried and wanted to go home with them. She responded that she could not come with them then, but she would later. She said Jahessye said “I can’t go later, I got to go now!” Added to this is the fact that Hunter’s other three children have been removed from the home in what police call “totally unrelated to this case.”
After numerous calls to do so, national media is spotlighting Jahessye’s case. CNN has featured Shirley Hohnson, Jahessye’s grandmother on the Jane Velez-Mitchell and her story has been broadcast on ABC, YouTube, MSN, myVidster, and more. Clearly everyone hopes that little Jahessye’s comes home safe and sound.
There is an $11,000 reward for any information leading to Jahessye or to the person or persons responsible for her disappearance. All tips eligible for this reward must be sent to 480-WITNESS.