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(Glendale Police Sergeant Brent) Coombs said investigators do not believe they will find the girl alive and that Hunter 'is our number one focus.'
Police have said they believed Jahessye wandered from her apartment in Glendale, a Phoenix suburb, while Hunter was running an errand. The girl's three older siblings were the last to see her.
Hunter's apartment was surrounded by police tape today as investigators in white jumpsuits searched inside. Coombs said authorities served their second search warrant on the residence.
Police have repeatedly said they had no evidence, suspects or promising leads
In the days following Jahessye's disappearance, more than 100 officers and volunteers searched for her in pools, garbage bins and shrubs. They interviewed and searched the homes of registered sex offenders in the area, and stopped at every door to spread news about the missing girl.
Police also cordoned off an area of a local landfill where garbage from Jahessye's neighbourhood would have been taken the day of and day after her disappearance, but have not searched it.
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The police here arrested the mother of a missing 5-year-old girl on a child abuse charge on Monday and said they believed she might have played a role in the disappearance of the girl, Jhessye Shockley, who they said was presumed dead.
The mother, Jerice Hunter, was not charged with the girl’s disappearance, which has attracted national attention, but the police in this Phoenix suburb said that information they uncovered in the last week led them to believe that the girl was probably no longer alive and that her mother was somehow involved. A search of a landfill in the area may take place soon, the police said.
“Yes, she’s our No. 1 focus,” Sgt. Brent Coombs, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said of Ms. Hunter at a crowded news conference, adding that investigators believe she “played a key role” in Jhessye’s disappearance.