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Jerice Hunter, whose 5-year-old daughter Jhessye Shockley has been missing for more than a month, sat down Wednesday night in her first one-on-one interview since her daughter's disappearance.
"My children are my life and anybody who knows that, who knows me, knows that," Hunter said. "Not only am I sending a desperate plea out for Jhessey Shockley's safe return, I'd like to also make a plea for my other children because they are people. They're human beings all of them and they need their mom," Hunter said.
Hunter's four other children are in state custody. Three were taken by Child Protective Services the night Shockley went missing. Hunter then gave birth two weeks after that, CPS took custody of the baby shortly after she was born.
Hunter also said she wanted to set the record straight, to dispel the lies and the rumors, especially given the fact that some of her relatives have said they believe she has something to do with her daughter's disappearance.
"If I knew where my child was she would be here," Hunter said. "Do you understand that? If I could take back Oct. 11 I would never have walked out that door to go run an errand. I am not claiming anything negative. I know in my heart that Jhessye is still with us here on earth. I'm not going to speak anything negative into existence because my faith tells me to do just that, to stay positive and to trust God," said Hunter.
Hunter said she has pleaded to take a polygraph from the start but the detectives told her they wanted to wait until after she had her baby.
"That same detective contacted me a few days ago and said Jerice, you've had the baby, are you ready to take the polygraph? I said, 'OK sure, but I'd like my attorney to be present.' What's wrong with that?"
Hunter said she's been vilified by the media for at times not showing any emotion and at other times showing too much emotion.
"Please give me the handbook on how a mother is suppose to react in a time like this," Hunter said. "If there is an abduction handbook, if there is a 'take your kids away from your house sneak them away from you saying we're just going to talk to them and never give them back' handbook, tell me where it is. Because I'll buy it no matter how much it cost. Because I need help right now. I don't know what to do," said Hunter.