Jerice Hunter's booking photo when she was arrested on child abuse charges, six weeks after Jhessye was reported missing. The charges were later dropped.
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -
Jerice Hunter, the mother of 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley, has been arrested on first-degree murder and child abuse charges in her daughter's death, according to police.
Hunter's family told CBS 5 News that Hunter was arrested in Mesa on Thursday.
At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Glendale police confirmed the arrest, saying Hunter was taken into custody without incident at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday at her Mesa home.
Soon after October 2011 when Hunter reported Jhessye missing, police announced that Hunter was the main focus in her daughter's disappearance.
Police and the FBI searched Hunter's home six weeks after Jhessye was reported missing looking for clues in the girl's disappearance.
Police believe Hunter kept Jhessye in the closet and tortured her. One of Jhessye's older sisters told police the closet where Jhessye was kept, "looked like a grave and smelled like dead people."
Hunter was arrested for child abuse the day the search warrant was served, but no charges were ever filed and she was released.
In June, investigators ended their landfill search for Jhessye that began on Feb. 6. Investigators said they were unable to recover any evidence from the Butterfield Landfill, where they believed Jhessye Shockley's body or evidence leading to her body might be found.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
SPECIAL SECTION: Missing Jhessye Shockley SLIDESHOWS: Search for Jhessye INTERVIEW: CBS News' Donna Rossi's exclusive interview with Jhessye's mother Jerice Hunter FLIER: Jhessye was reported missingMore>>
Sunday, March 9 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-03-09 19:04:53 GMT
(Source: CBS 5 News)
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS, also known as UAVs or drones) temporarily clearingMore >
An administrative law judge with the NTSB ruled Thursday that the FAA has no decision making authority over the operation of unmanned aerial systems. More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:36 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:36:20 GMT
Car over the edge of I-17 in Phoenix
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers investigated a bizarre crash Sunday on Interstate 17. A driver, whose name was not released, was exiting the freeway near Camelback Road when the SUV blewMore >
Arizona Department of Public Safety officers investigated a bizarre crash Sunday on Interstate 17.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:59:38 GMT
Buckeye shooting leaves one dead
Buckeye police are looking for a suspect who shot a tow truck driver early Sunday afternoon and then fled. Officer Tamela Skaggs said the suspect was last seen heading west on MC85. She said the truckMore >
Witnesses said they heard somewhere between four to five gunshots and found a man lying on the side of the road in front of Don Lalo Auto Repair.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:03:47 GMT
Fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs
Family, friends and the community will gather Monday to honor the Phoenix police detective who died in a gun battle with a fugitive. The Phoenix Police Department announced Wednesday that funeral servicesMore >
Family, friends and the community are gathering to honor and pay their final respects the Phoenix police detective who died in a gun battle with a fugitive.More >
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:04:05 GMT
Reported kidnapping in Phoenix
A woman was kidnapped at gunpoint Saturday evening, Phoenix police said. It happened near 67th Avenue and Coolidge. Officers said she was walking northbound on 67th Avenue when a car came up behind her. PoliceMore >
Police released a grainy video of what they said was a kidnapping on 67th Avenue near Coolidge. The video shows a woman being thrown into a white car Saturday afternoon. More >
A 45-year-old man is dead after a cab struck him in Scottsdale early Sunday morning, police said. The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said ScottsdaleMore >
The man had left a nearby restaurant before 1:30 a.m. and walked across Scottsdale Road, said Scottsdale police Officer David Pubins.More >
Friday, February 28 2014 3:27 AM EST2014-02-28 08:27:54 GMT
On a rainy Monday afternoon, the buzz of air-powered tools rattled through the garage at CSC Lifts, Liners, and Accessories. The experienced hands of Darrell Carmena applied just the right pressure toMore >
A truck, the man of men, holds so many memories for a family. This fitting tribute is a chance to live on through the work, the sweat and the mud.More >