PHOENIX - The relatives of a 5-year-old Glendale girl who police believe was murdered are preparing to sue the agencies that were supposed to protect her.
Jhessye Shockley was reported missing in October 2011 by her mother, Jerice Hunter.
Glendale police believe Hunter, who was once convicted of child abuse, actually killed Jhessye and disposed of the body.
Now, Jhessye's family members are suing Child Protective Services and the Glendale Police Department claiming the agencies committed "gross negligence" when they failed to investigate possible abuse which ultimately led to the child's "wrongful death."
"We really wish we could sue them and they'd give baby Jhessye back," said their attorney Dwane Cates, "but they can't."
Cates told ABC15 his clients, Tycora Cole, Mahogany Hightower and Ida Vance, are asking for money because that is their only means of recourse for Jhessye's future estate. "The only thing that the law provides for is for money and so we have to ask for money," he said.
The relatives, who helped raise Jhessye before she was back in Hunter's care, are asking for $3 million.