GLENDALE, AZ - It has been 10 days since 5-year-old Jhessye Shockley was reported missing. Now, a cousin who helped raise her is talking about how the familly plans to keep her face out there, and is also opening up about allegations of child abuse.
Lisa Vance, from Glendale, says she helped raise Jhessye for four years while Jhessye's mother was in prison.
She tells ABC15 Jhessye was an intelligent girl with dreams of becoming a ballerina.
"You cannot help but love her. I miss everything about her," Vance said.
Jerice Hunter, Jhessye's mother, has a record of child abuse , and was sentenced to jail in California back in 2006. Vance says Hunter took Jhessye back last year when she was released.
"We did not give her back willingly," Vance said. "We didn't think Jerice was ready. She needed to get to know Jhessye. Jhessye was two weeks old when she left."
Vance, who does not have contact with Hunter anymore, alleges Hunter abused Jhessye.
"Absolutely," she said. "At our functions, and get-togethers, Jhessye was not herself. I've seen marks that led me to believe she was being abused in Jerice's home."
Police have not called Hunter a suspect in the missing child case nor have they confirmed that Jhessye was abused.
CPS currently has custody of Hunter's three other children, but would not release details about why they were removed from the home. The children were taken away after the investigation into Jhessye's disappearance began.
Despite Hunter's past, Vance says the focus should remain on finding Jhessye.
"My own opinion is someone has Jhessye and she's still living. I just wish they would return her," Vance said.
Vance is planning a candlelight vigil at 45th and Glendale avenues Saturday at 6pm.
"It will not stop until she comes home," Vance said about the family's effort.
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