The great aunt of anArizonagirl missing for almost a month said Tuesday that she is beginning to suspect that the child’s mother could be responsible for her disappearance.
Brenda Hunter told KNXV that she still supports her niece, Jerice Hunter, but she is concerned by reports that the mother of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley has not taken a lie detector test. Relatives also told the station that Jerice has not answered their phone calls for two weeks.
Jerice Hunter reported Jhessye missing on October 11 after she claimed the girl disappeared from herGlendaleapartment while she was out running an errand. Police have not identified any suspects in the case.
Asked if she believed Jerice had anything to do with Jhessye’s disappearance, Brenda said, “To be honest with you, I’m just going to be straight out, yes I do.”
She suggested the possibility that Jerice “hit her too hard and just didn’t realize it, you know, and then won’t admit it.”
Brenda Hunter also questioned why Jerice is not out actively searching for Jhessye.
“I would be out here night and day, marching, looking for my child,” she said. “And she’s not behaving like a mother would, being that her child is missing.”
Relatives have told KNXV that Jerice is scheduled to take a lie detector test on Thursday, but police denied that claim.
Authorities are offering a reward of up to $11,000 in the case. To be eligible for the reward, tips must be submitted to Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).