What to Know
- Family members and the authorities are continuing their desperate search for a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who has not been seen since going to pick up groceries on Oct. 14
- As of Tuesday, authorities say they are continuing to search for Jashyah Moore and are following different leads.
- Jashyah is 5'5", weighing about 135 pounds, according to her mother. She was last seen wearing khaki pants and a black jacket.
Family members and the authorities are continuing their desperate search for a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who has not been seen since going to pick up groceries at a deli last month.
Authorities provided an update during a press conference Tuesday, saying that they continue to search for Jashyah Moore and are following different leads, with the Essex County Prosecutor's Office now taking over the investigation.
Jashyah's mother told police she last saw her daughter on the morning of Oct. 14th, going in to buy groceries at Poppie's Deli on Central Avenue in East Orange. She never returned home.
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"Jashyah is a smart girl, she would not stay out, she would not go out or go off with anyone," said mother Jamie Moore at an emotional press conference on Friday. "If anybody knows anything, please come forward — my baby is going to high school, she is a good girl. Please."
Jashyah’s 4-year-old little brother, Jaydin, just wants to play again with his big sister, saying he loves her, he misses her and wants her to come back.
A search party armed with flashlights and flyers scoured several East Orange streets Tuesday night, with her mother leading the search.
"I feel like somebody has her against her will. That's why she hasn't called me," said Moore. "You don't gotta tell us who you are, just don't hurt my baby. Drop her off, drop her off at the police station."
The search ended at an apartment building where a woman claims she may have seen Jashyah two weeks ago, but Moore later told NBC New York that she does not believe the lead will pan out.
Last week, police confirmed they were looking at surveillance video from the day of her disappearance. It apparently shows the teen entering the deli with what is being described as an “older male” who paid for her items at the register. East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi says the video does not show them leaving the store together, however.
"The male on the video seen with Jashyah that day has been fully cooperative, giving full cooperation in this investigation," Bindi said.
The deli owner declined to comment, but has put up missing person flyers. There’s a $15,000 reward for anyone with information that leads to her safe return — which her aunt is desperately hoping happens, as she asks neighbors for help.
"We have to protect the black community, we have to protect black girls — especially the most vulnerable among us," said Yolanda Aguilera.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office also sent a message through the media, asking that if anyone were to see Jashya, to describe what she is wearing or relay details that help in the search.
"We know that Gabby Petito which was a very notorious case that was constantly in the news did yield results and information," said Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II.
Some who went out searching for Jashyah were upset by what what they said has been a double standard in the exposure the New jersey teen's disappearance has received, saying it pales in comparison to what Petito received.
"We want that exposure for our babies that are going missing in our communities as well. We don't get that," said volunteer Yolanda Johnson.
Both police ad the FBI are involved in the search, with Bindi saying that bringing Jashyah home "is our number one concern."
Moorse sent a message to her daughter Tuesday night, wherever she may be.
"I love you. i love you. if you see this, I'm looking for you, if I gotta die myself to find you," Moore said.
Jashyah is 5'5", weighing about 135 pounds, according to her mother. She was last seen wearing a khaki pants and a black jacket.
There will be a prayer service on Friday in front of City Hall at 5:30 p.m.