Update – 6:18 p.m.: The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office announced Friday that Jamie A. Moore, 39, the mother of formerly missing girl Jashyah Moore, 14, was charged with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
“The endangering charges include allegations of physical abuse and also neglect,” authorities said.
The New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency took her daughter and three-year-old son from her custody, officials said.
Our original article is below.
Authorities found a missing child safe and sound across state lines, but questions remain about why she disappeared — amid a domestic violence case against her stepfather. New Jersey girl Jashyah Moore, 14, was found in New York City, authorities announced in a press conference Friday morning.
“It appears that Jashyah was a runaway,” Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II.
Citing an ongoing investigation, Stephens declined to specify the timeline of events after Moore was last seen in the city of East Orange, New Jersey, on Oct. 14. Moore was in several locations in New Jersey, and she ended up in New York City, Stephens said. She stayed in a Brooklyn shelter, and met with police uptown in Harlem, he said.
A good Samaritan recognized Moore near 111th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, the New York Police Department said, according to News 12.
“We are not able to make any particular announcements at this time, but we are pursuing certain leads which we believe may yield some charges,” said Stephens, without specifying what these charges might be. Nonetheless, Stephens said prosecutors do not anticipate charges regarding someone “ferreting” Moore away.
“It appears to me that she was more comfortable where she was,” Stephens said.
BREAKING: Acting Essex County Prosecutor says 14yo Jashyah Moore ran away last month. She was found unharmed. A Good Samaritan spotted her and called 911. She cut her hair and denied she was Jashyah when approached. Latest on @CBSNewYork #JashyahMoore
— John Dias (@JohnBDias) November 12, 2021
The investigation into this matter continues. Stephens declined to say why investigators believe Jashyah left. Nonetheless, he said it was almost impossible to believe she would not have known the scope of the well publicized search for her.
“Obviously, this was an extremely resilient and resourceful young lady, and she decided that she wanted to be some place other than where she had been, and she made that happen,” Stephens said.
During her disappearance, family said that Moore was going to speak to investigators about a domestic violence case against her stepfather, a fired East Orange police officer, according to News 12. He had allegedly attacked Jashyah’s mother Jamie Moore.
“We’ve questioned that officer, as well as many other individuals involved in this case, so with regard to individuals who are persons of interest, we are not at liberty to speak on that,” Stephens said in a Wednesday report.
Before the 14-year-old was found in New York, Jamie Moore has publicly insisted that someone must have kidnapped her. She said the child’s disappearance was out of character. The mother said she last saw her daughter after the girl returned from a trip to a local deli, but lost the mother’s credit card. She said she told Jashyah to retrace her steps.
“She, Jashyah, is a smart girl and I can’t reiterate that enough,” the mother said, according to WABC. “She would not stay out. She would not go out, go off with anyone. She’s a homebody. She plays video games. She likes to cook. She plays with her little brother–he’s like her best friend. I cannot imagine what she might be going through, just being away from us for this long, away from her family who loves her very much.”
Stephens said they expect Jamie Moore will meet with law enforcement Friday.
[Screenshot via Essex County Prosecutor’s Office]
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