PHOENIX, Oct. 25 (UPI) —
The mother of a missing Arizona girl visited the state Capitol to bring awareness to what she says is a lack of a national search and skewed media reports.
Jerice Hunter, whose 5-year-old daughter Jhessye Shockley disappeared Oct. 11, says the media has unfairly focused on a prior conviction for corporal punishment with her other children, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.
I feel like they’re [the media] covering me instead of my daughter because it’s a juicy story for them and they want to get ratings, Hunter said at the Capitol Monday. Because I wouldn’t speak to them initially, they decided they would draw me out by demonizing me.
Hunter, who is eight months pregnant, said she returned home from running an errand to find Shockley gone. Police say Hunter is not a suspect, and they don’t know if the girl walked out of the home on her own or if she was abducted.
Child protective services took custody of Hunter’s three other children the day after Shockley was reported missing. The children’s grandmother, Shirley Johnson, was in juvenile court Monday seeking to take them home with her.