It’s been nearly a month since Jashyah Moore was last seen at deli near her home in East Orange, New Jersey.
On Wednesday, the reward for information in the desperate search to find her was increased to $20,000.
The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is leading the investigation and has formed a task force that includes, the East Orange Police, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the New Jersey State Police and the Orange Police Department.
“Our society cannot ignore the fact that a 14-year-old girl, otherwise normal in all respects as far as we can tell, would disappear without a trace on a sunny day…” Acting Essex County Acting Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II said Tuesday. “This case cries out and demands our attention.”
Jashyah disappeared on the morning of October 14 while visiting a neighborhood deli close to her home in East Orange.
Over the weekend, teams from multiple municipalities spent part of Saturday utilizing sonar technology at a pond inside a nearby park.
“She did not run away. She was abducted. I don’t know who did it, but we’re looking for you,” her mother, Jamie Moore, said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Moore’s mother continued to plead for anyone who has any information on where her daughter is to share it immediately.
“We want her family to know, our community to know, and the world to know quite frankly that we are working to bring Jashyah home safely. She is our number one concern,” said East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi.
Bindi said investigators don’t have any persons of interest and don’t suspect foul play at this point. The surveillance video is a key aspect of the investigation, according to Stephens. She said it appears that no one was with her.
There was a report at one time that there was an individual in the store who may have been with her, but investigators have since discounted that, Stephens said.
“This reminds us that the lives of little Black and little brown girls is just as important as everybody else’s lives,” Stephens said last week. “And we know that Gabby Petito, which is a very, very notorious case that was constantly in the news did yield results and information. So we are hoping that today’s effort will also bring some information so we can find young Jashyah.”
While the cases of missing White women have been given more focus and urgency, people of color are disappearing at disproportionate rates. Black people make up 35% of missing persons reports but only 13% of the US population, according to 2020 FBI data. Meanwhile, White people make up 54% of missing persons reports and 76% of the US population.
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