From the New York Times:
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The police here arrested the mother of a missing 5-year-old girl on a child abuse charge on Monday and said they believed she might have played a role in the disappearance of the girl, Jhessye Shockley, who they said was presumed dead.
The mother, Jerice Hunter, was not charged with the girl’s disappearance, which has attracted national attention, but the police in this Phoenix suburb said that information they uncovered in the last week led them to believe that the girl was probably no longer alive and that her mother was somehow involved. A search of a landfill in the area may take place soon, the police said.
“Yes, she’s our No. 1 focus,” Sgt. Brent Coombs, a spokesman for the Glendale Police Department, said of Ms. Hunter at a crowded news conference, adding that investigators believe she “played a key role” in Jhessye’s disappearance.
Throughout much of the day, forensic experts with the Glendale Police Department and the F.B.I. were at the apartment where Jhessye was last reported seen to search for clues, Sergeant Coombs said.
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