Prosecutor: Mother of missing East Orange teen charged with 2 counts of endangering welfare of child
The mother of a 14-year-old girl who went missing in East Orange last month is now facing charges.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office says that 39-year-old Jamie Moore, mother of Jashyah Moore, was charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
Authorities say those charges include allegations of physical abuse and neglect.
Courtesy Essex County Prosecutor's Office
Jashyah Moore went missing on Oct. 14 after she was last seen at a deli on Central Avenue in East Orange. She was found Thursday night – nearly a month later – in New York City.
“At this point, we’re not able to say anything other than the young lady appears to have run away and did not want to make herself known to where she was,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens said.
Jashyah is now in the care of the county. She was spotted by a good Samaritan who had seen the case in the news and called the NYPD.
“When we found out last night she had been found, it brought joy to so many people, probably around the country,” said East Orange Mayor Ted Green. “Our No. 1 priority was to make sure that young lady got home safe and sound.”
It was not immediately clear where Jashyah had been over the course of the weeks she was missing. She was last seen near Poppie’s Deli in East Orange. Surveillance video shows a stranger paying for her purchases after she had lost her mother’s debit card. Whether or not this was the reason she ran away remains to be seen.
Investigators say that the teen spent some of her time missing in different parts of New Jersey, a shelter in Brooklyn and then went to meet a friend or acquaintance in the upper part of Manhattan, which is where she was spotted.
Meantime, Jashyah’s friends and family and volunteers who helped search for her and spread the word are demanding changes in how cases like this – missing minority girls – are handled by law enforcement and the public.
“We must reverse course when it comes to Black and brown girls being missing. I imagine there are so many unseen and unheard of we don’t know about,” says community activist Kason Little. “Possibly 80,000 being reported. What about those who aren’t reported? And I still have criticism for these officials here, because it wasn’t a sense of urgency as they claim it was.”
Officials say that an Amber Alert was not issued because there was no evidence of an abduction.
Jamie Moore is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility pending a court appearance, where more information about the alleged abuse may come to light. News 12 has learned that Jashyah hadn’t been enrolled in school for some time.