Arizona police plan to search landfill for Jhessye Shockley, missing 5-year-old

FILE - 5-year-old Jahessye Shockley is seen in this undated handout photo provided by the Glendale Police Department. Police scaled down the number of officers and volunteers searching for Shockley who has been missing for three days from about 100 to a couple dozen on Friday.
AP Photo/Glendale Police Department, File
Jhessye Shockley
File, AP Photo/Glendale, Ariz. Police Department

(CBS/AP) GLENDALE, Ariz. - Authorities in Arizona announced Tuesday that they plan to search a landfill near Phoenix for the body of missing 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley.

Investigators say that Shockley was killed and her body dumped in a trash bin before her mother reported her missing on Oct. 11. Detectives believe the girl's body is in the landfill and that the search could take several weeks. They plan to start digging in the next few weeks.

Shockley's mother, Jerice Hunter, was arrested in November on suspicion of child abuse relating to Jhessye. The child's 13-year-old sibling told police that Hunter told her other children to lie about the last time they saw Jhessye, according to the Los Angeles Times. The sibling also reportedly told police that Hunter had kept Jhessye locked in a closet and that the girl looked like a zombie and the closet "smelled like dead people."

Hunter, who complained that the national media were not covering Jhessye's disappearance because the family was black, was released the next day after prosecutors said they wanted to do more investigating.

Complete coverage of Jhessye Shockley on Crimesider