April 1 marks 8th birthday of missing Jhessye Shockley - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, Florida-

April 1 marks 8th birthday of missing Jhessye Shockley

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Jhessye Shockley Jhessye Shockley
Jhessye Shockley Jhessye Shockley
Jerice Hunter Jerice Hunter
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

The little girl from Glendale, missing and presumed dead would have turned 8 years old Tuesday.

April 1 is the birthday of Jhessye Shockley. 

In October 2011, her mother, Jerice Hunter, called 911 and reported her daughter missing from their Glendale apartment.

An all out search went on for days but Hunter soon became the main suspect in the 5-year-old's disappearance.

About six weeks after Jhessye was reported missing, a woman contacted investigators with a crucial tip.

The woman said seven to 15 days before Hunter reported her daughter missing, she gave Hunter a ride to Tempe. At the time, Hunter put a large, heavy suitcase in the woman's trunk. When they got to Tempe, Hunter put it in a dumpster. Hunter even apologized to the woman for the smell of the suitcase. Police tested the trunk of that car and it tested positive for blood.

Despite months of searching the Butterfield Landfill southwest of Phoenix, authorities have never located Jhessye's body.

Nearly a year after the girl disappeared, police arrested Hunter and charged her with first-degree murder and child abuse. Hunter is currently in jail awaiting trial.

Hunter maintains her innocence. 

The cousin's who helped raise Jhessye told CBS 5 News they miss their little "princess" every day, but especially today, on what would have been her 8th birthday. They continue to push for justice for Jhessye.  

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on the trial.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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