I have been writing articles about Jahessye(Jessie,Jhessye)Shockley since I saw the first story about her disappearance. I have begged people to look for her, been critical of the national media for not reporting her story, and all-in-all been a cheerleader for this precious baby.
I am feeling torn as I type this. Last night I was writing another article begging people to ignore the mothers past, and just look for Jessie. While looking up some past on the case, I found a statement by the mother, that differed from what she first said. That bothered me, and then I found another cousin who believes that Jessie was being abused. I am not accusing Jerice Hunter, but I cannot go full force with a story and say I believe that someone is innocent, when I really am not sure. The following are 4 different stories, 3 that are attributed to Jerice Hunter. They could be misunderstandings, but it just bothers me. I have to write facts and these facts are disturbing. Please pray for this beautiful little girl.
This is really a troublesome development. A homicide detective has been named head investigator, although police say that missing-persons and child-crime detectives are still probing Jessie’s disappearance. The police say they are working with the FBI to administer a lie detector test to Jerice Hunter.
Her mother(Jerice Hunter) told Peas In Their Pod, a non-profit that helps find missing loved ones, that she had the older kids do chores in the backyard but locked Jhessye in the home for her safety.
The girl was locked inside the house while the other children were playing outside. When Hunter returned home, the door was unlocked and the 5-year-old was gone.
Jerice Hunter said in the interview that on the day her daughter vanished, she was busy running around doing errands, while her older children (now in the custody of child protective services) were in the back of the house doing chores. Hunter explained that she told her daughter to watch TV while she left the house.
Hunter told police that she left her daughter with her three older siblings. The siblings told police they last saw Jahessye playing in the front yard.
Mahogany Hightower, one of the four cousins who raised Jessie, while Jerice was in prison, said she last saw Jessie in April at a family bar-b-que. “She cried really bad telling us she wanted us to take her home”. Hightower said “She wanted to go home now. We told her you can’t come home with us now, but you will later. ‘She goes, I can’t go later. I’ve got to go now’.” Hightower said she had called CPS several times because she believe that Jessie and an older sister were being abused.
Lisa Vance, a cousin of Jerice’s, has been helping to raise Jahessye Shockley for the last 4 years. She’s not sure how Hunter was able to gain custody so quickly and is certain the little girl was being abused again. “We did not give her back willingly,” Vance said. “We didn’t think Jerice was ready. She needed to get to know Jhessye. Jhessye was two weeks old when she left.” Vance, who does not have contact with Hunter anymore, alleges Hunter abused Jhessye. “Absolutely,” she said. “At our functions, and get-togethers, Jhessye was not herself. I’ve seen marks that led me to believe she was being abused. Police have not called Hunter a suspect in the missing child case nor have they confirmed that Jhessye was abused.
It does seem the finger is pointing to Jerice Hunter. A day after Jessie went missing, her other three children were taken by CPS. The police said it was not related to their case. CPS would not give a reason.
Family members say that Jerice has had her child, and that CPS has taken custody of the little girl. CPS would not confirm this.
It is really telling, to me, that they would take the newborn. If there was not something going on, they could have returned the kids. They could have gave the grandmother temporary custody until they cleared Jerice. This case is beginning to look like there might not be a happy ending. That would be heartbreaking, and one more precious child lost. Lets keep praying and looking, in case she is out there.