Missing Arizona Girl's Mom Due In Court For Child Abuse Charges

Police in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale have arrested the mother of a missing 5-year-old girl on child abuse charges. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.

Sgt. Brent Coombs said Monday that Jerice Hunter was arrested on child abuse charges "directly related to Jhessye."

Jhessye Shockley has been missing since Oct. 11.

Coombs said at a news conference that investigators don't believe they'll find the girl alive and that Hunter "is our No. 1 focus."

Hunter's apartment was surrounded by police tape Monday as investigators in white jumpsuits searched inside.

Police have said they believed Jhessye wandered from her Glendale apartment while Hunter was running an errand. The girl's three older siblings were the last to see her. Police have repeatedly said they had no evidence, suspects or promising leads.

Hunter's four other children, including a newborn, were removed from her home last month.


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