What to Know
- Jashyah Moore was found safe in New York City on Thursday after having been missing for nearly a month
- The 14-year-old from New Jersey vanished after going to pick up groceries at a local deli on Oct. 14 in East Orange
- Details surrounding her disappearance, or how she was found in the city, were not immediately shared
Jashyah Moore, a 14-year-old New Jersey girl who had been missing for nearly a month, has been found safe but many questions about how she ended up in a New York City shelter remained.
Moore, of East Orange, vanished Oct. 14 after heading out to pick up some groceries from a local deli, officials have said. Investigators now believe the teen chose to run away from her home when she vanished nearly one month ago.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens III said in a press release Thursday that Jashyah was "currently safe and being provided all appropriate services," and that she would be brought back to her home in New Jersey shortly.
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At a news conference the following morning, Stephens and other top law enforcement officials involved in Moore's search began to fill in some of the blanks surrounding the teen's case. Notably, their investigation points to Moore spending a significant portion of the past month in New Jersey before traveling into New York City. How she got around and who, if anyone, may have supported her efforts is something investigators are still trying to piece together.
According to Stephens, the 14-year-old had last stayed at a shelter in Brooklyn before she was ultimately located by New York City police in Harlem. The investigators are also looking at the efforts made by Moore to conceal her identity, possibly by cutting her hair, as well as initially denying who she was to officers.
"This is a continuing investigation. We are pursuing certain leads which we believe may yield some charges," Stephens said Friday.
At the time of his disappearance, Moore was not enrolled in any school, the prosecutor revealed.
As of Friday morning, the teen was under the supervision of the county prosecutor's office and child protective services. Stephens said a meeting between law enforcement officials and Moore's mother was scheduled for later that day to determine next steps for the 14-year-old and their investigation.
"The family and our community is grateful she is safe and alive. We are thankful to everybody who put in the work to help find her," a spokesperson for the Moore family said in a statement.
Her family had said she didn't run away, even though that's what the mother initially reported that first night, insisting she must have been held against her will.
Some who joined in the recent search efforts said they were upset by what they perceived to be a double standard in the exposure given to the New Jersey teen's disappearance compared with that given to Long Island's Gabby Petito.
"We want the same exposure for our babies," a volunteer recently said.
Officials had said they were looking at all angles as they investigated Moore's disappearance. The FBI was also said to have been involved -- and a $20,000 reward had been offered for information that could help bring the girl home.