Photo: Moore family / PIX 11 News
  /  11.01.2021

New Jersey State Police and the FBI have joined the ongoing search for a Black teenager who went missing last month. According to officials, 14-year-old JaShyah Moore was last seen at Poppie’s Deli Store on Central Avenue in East Orange, New Jersey on Oct. 14.

That day, JaShyah visited the U.S. Food Market on Central Avenue to buy orange juice and paper towels, but lost the family’s EBT card, her mother said.

“I just said, ‘Backtrack your steps,’” her mom Jamie Moore told PIX 11 News.

However, when JaShyah didn’t return within the hour, Jamie searched several delis on Central Avenue to look for her. She later reported the teenager, who does not have a cellphone, as missing to police.

“Nothing would keep her away from me,” Jamie said. “Nothing would keep her away from her little brother. And she’s such a smart girl. She would not stay out overnight. She would not want me to worry.”

According to the outlet, JaShyah was set to testify before a grand jury against her stepfather, Jamie’s husband and an East Orange police officer, in a domestic violence case stemming from last year.

“I saw him punch my niece twice in the face,” the teenager’s aunt Yolanda Moore told WPIX. “And this guy’s in his 30s. And he’s really tall and he’s really big.”

She added, “I find it extremely convenient and coincidental that my niece goes missing a couple weeks later.”

A clerk at the store where JaShyah was last seen told PIX 11 that the teenager was accompanied by a man who paid for her groceries.  

Essex County prosecutors previously said they don’t believe the domestic violence case against JaShyah’s stepfather and her disappearance are related.

“The domestic violence case is proceeding against the defendant,” Essex County Public Information Officer Katherine Carter said in a statement. “We are aware of the fact that the mother reported the daughter missing. The missing person’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.”

Over two weeks after JaShyah’s disappearance, the state police department and FBI announced their involvement in the case on Friday (Oct. 29). JaShyah’s family has circulated “missing” posters with her face on social media and said they are frustrated about the lack of media attention.

“My niece is a Black, Afro-Latina girl, you understand?” Yolanda told PIX 11. “When you’re in a disenfranchised community like East Orange there’s a lot of, I would say, ignoring of Black little girls.”

See the family’s poster about JaShyah on Twitter below.


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