Recent details have emerged about missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley being allegedly abused by her mother, Jerice Hunter. Jhessye was said to have suffered beatings and had even been locked in a closet.
Digital Journal first reported of Jerice Hunter's arrest when she was taken into police custody on Monday on suspicion of child abuse and is being held on $100,000 bond. At the time, no details were made available about the allegations, except for the fact that it was directly related to Jhessye. Police had also speculated that they would not find Jhessye alive.
AZ Central now reports that Hunter's 13-year-old daughter told police about how Jhessye had been severely beaten and kept inside a closet weeks before her disappearance. The daughter also says that she found Shockley in the closet with her eyes bruised and her hair pulled out. She says that Shockley was unresponsive and looked like a "zombie", and that the closet she was kept in looked like a grave and smelled like dead people. She claims that she would sneak food and water to the little girl while their mother was away.
According to Radar Online, Hunter had come home on one occasion to find Shockley watching TV with a neighborhood boy. Allegedly, Hunter became furious at the sight of this and called her young daughter a "ho". She then took Shockley to a back room where she was heard screaming and crying hysterically.
Hunter's other children have also told authorities that they had seen Shockley with bruises and black eyes.
Hunter, who had previously served time in prison on child abuse charges in California, was not supposed to even be in custody of her children, who have now been taken by Child Protective Services. Hunter's mother had illegally returned the children to her after she left California and moved to Arizona.
Jhessye Shockley, who dreamed of one day becoming a ballerina, was first reported missing on Oct. 11. Her mother claims that she left her young daughter under the supervision of her older siblings while she left home to run errands. She told police that when she returned, the child was missing.