JaShyah Moore, 14, was allegedly last seen with an adult male who bought her candy and juice
A New Jersey mother is desperate for answers after her 14-year-old daughter disappeared following a quick store run.
On the morning of Oct. 14, JaShyah Moore visited U.S. Food Market on Central Avenue in East Orange to pick up some juice and paper towels. When she returned home, she told her mother that she had lost the familyâ€™s EBT card.Â
â€œI just said, â€˜Backtrack your steps,’â€� the teenagerâ€™s mother, Jamie Moore, recalled, PIX 11 reports. But when she didnâ€™t come back within the hour, thatâ€™s when the concerned mother went out looking for her.Â
Moore reportedly visited several delis on Central Avenue before notifying police that her child was missing. The teen did not have her own cell phone and complicating the situation is a pending domestic violence case involving the teenager and Mooreâ€™s husband, an East Orange police officer who is reportedly JaShyahâ€™s stepfather.
â€œI saw him punch my niece twice in the face,â€� the teenâ€™s aunt, Yolanda Moore said. â€œAnd this guyâ€™s in his 30s. And heâ€™s really tall and heâ€™s really big.â€�
JaShyah was expected to testify about the 2020 incident before a grand jury, according to a letter the family received about the legal matter. The aunt told WPIX, â€œI find it extremely convenient and coincidental that my niece goes missing a couple weeks later.â€�
Essex County prosecutors said, â€œthe domestic violence assault and the status of the missing person do not appear to be related.â€�
â€œThe domestic violence case is proceeding against the defendant,â€� wrote Katherine Carter, a public information officer in the Essex County Prosecutorâ€™s Office. â€œWe are aware of the fact that the mother reported the daughter missing. The missing personâ€™s case is being handled by municipal authorities in East Orange. At this point, the domestic violence assault and the status of the missing person do not appear to be related; however, it is being monitored by law enforcement.â€�
When PIX11 News caught wind of the familyâ€™s â€œmissingâ€� posters on Facebook, the outlet visited the first deli JaShyah went to where she bought juice and some candy. Per the report, a female clerk revealed that a male was accompanying the young girl on the morning of her disappearance.Â
â€œSomebody came in with her and paid for her,â€� the clerk told the outlet. Co-worker Bassan Awaldi said the man â€œtalked with her; he pay and go.â€�
JaShyah’s case has not received much media attention and the family cites race as the main reason.
â€œMy niece is a Black, Afro-Latina girl, you understand?â€� Yolanda Moore said to PIX11News.Â â€œWhen youâ€™reâ€™ in a disenfranchised community like East Orangeâ€¦thereâ€™s a lot of, I would say, ignoring of Black little girls.â€�
Jamie Moore said her daughter loved to cook and aspired to be a YouTube vlogger.
â€œNothing would keep her away from me,â€� she said. â€œNothing would keep her away from her little brother. And sheâ€™s such a smart girl. She would not stay out overnight. She would not want me to worry.â€�
While the investigation is ongoing, police are hopeful that anyone with information related to JaShyahâ€™s whereabouts will come forward. Tipsters are asked to call the East Orange Police Department at 973-266-5041.
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