PHOENIX — The parents of a 5-year-old Arizona girl who has been missing for two days were not under suspicion and police had no evidence of a kidnapping, but investigators said Thursday they weren’t ruling out anything.
Jahessye Shockley (pronounced like “Jesse”) was last seen by her three older siblings around 5 p.m. Tuesday after their mother went out to run an errand. Police suspect the girl left through the front door of her home in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.
The girl’s father does not live with the family and there were no fights between the parents over custody, said Glendale police officer Tracey Breeden.
The longer Jahessye remains missing, the more concerned police grow.
“Anytime the time lengthens it becomes difficult to locate a person,” Breeden said Thursday. “With the time going by, you’re very concerned about their welfare, especially when you have a 5-year-old child involved. The longer they’re away, the more likely something could happen.”
Jahessye’s mother, Jerice Hunter, declined to speak to The Associated Press but told KNXV-TV that she just wants her daughter back.
“She’s somebody’s child – mine,” Hunter said through tears. “Please bring my child home.”
About 100 police officers and volunteers working in teams of four with police dogs were blanketing the area within three miles of the girl’s home. They knocked on doors, passed out flyers with the girl’s picture and combed through shrubbery and trash bins.
“We’re searching everything you can imagine,” Breeden said, adding that a one-mile radius around the home has all but been cleared. “We went over it and we went over it again.”
Police also set up a separate phone line for the case and received a couple dozen tips by Thursday. The number is 623-930-4357.
Police said Jahessye is a black girl with brown eyes. She’s 3 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 55 pounds and was last seen wearing a plain white shirt, blue jean shorts and pink sandals.
One woman reported seeing a girl matching Jahessye’s description wandering around the neighborhood before being pulled into a black sedan through the passenger door.
Breeden said police had not confirmed the validity of the tip, saying that the description of the incident was vague and no license plate was provided.
She said the girl’s mother has been cooperative with police and was extremely upset about her daughter’s disappearance. The girl’s extended family also has been helping with the search by passing out flyers.
“We’re very concerned,” Breeden said. “That’s why we’re going over every area, rechecking areas, expanding our search and using every asset we can get our hands on to try to get information out there.”