14-year-old Jashyah Moore has officially been found. The teen, who went missing the morning of Oct. 14, was located in New York City authorities said.
“Jashyah is currently safe and is being provided all appropriate services. She will be returned to New Jersey shortly,” Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens said in a statement. During a news conference on Friday, Stephens revealed that a good samaritan who recognized Moore called 911 around 7 p.m. on Nov. 11. She was located in Harlem, CBS 2 noted. A source close to the case told the outlet that when the NYPD approached Moore she denied her identity initially, but after further questioning, she later confirmed who she was.
“It appears that Jashyah was a runaway,” Stephens added. It’s unclear as to how she ended up in New York City.
Moore was last seen in East Orange at a deli in her neighborhood on Oct. 14. Earlier this week, the East Orange Police department announced that they would be offering a $20,000 cash reward for anyone who had information on Moore’s whereabouts.
Last weekend a task force was deployed by the Essex County Prosecutors Office to search for the young teen. Rescue personal used sonar technology to search for traces of Jashyah at a nearby park, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The task force consisted of the East Orange Police, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, and the Orange Jashyah’s mother, Jamie Moore, told reporters at a press conference on Nov. 9 that she truly believed her daughter “did not run away.”
“She was abducted. I don’t know who did it, but we’re looking for you,” Jamie said at the time. The distraught mother pled with viewers to help provide as much information as possible to bring her daughter home.
“I love you, Jashyah,” Jamie added. “If you see this, don’t be scared. Mommy is going to find you… If I gotta die myself to find you, we’re gonna find you.”
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens told ABC 7 that the video surveillance footage from the store showed a man paying for Jashyah’s items, but the suspect was later cleared. Officials said that it appeared as though she did make it back to her home, but she then circled back to the deli once she realized she had lost her mother’s EBT card.
Jashyah Moore’s case was the latest disappearance to rock the Black community over the last year. According to the National Crime Information Center, in 2020 there were “268,884 girls and women who were reported missing,” out of that large number, nearly 90,333, or 34 percent of them, were Black. Black women and girls only make up 15 percent of the population while white women and girls make up 59 percent of missing cases–accounting for 75 percent of the population. The number particularly draws a shocking reality to media coverage, or lack thereof, when it comes to missing Black families, a disparity that grows more apparent with each case. However, Stephens said that he hoped to prevent that by flooding social media with pictures of Jashyah in addition to ramping up the department’s search efforts, which have proved to be successful.