Search for missing East Orange teen continues, teen’s mom asks public for help

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EAST ORANGE, NJ — The East Orange City Council, East Orange Mayor Ted Green and East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi held a press conference on Friday, Nov. 5, with the family of missing 14-year-old Jashyah Moore, where they discussed efforts to find the teenager and the investigation into her disappearance.

Since the teen’s disappearance, the EOPD has been working in collaboration with the FBI, the New Jersey State Police, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office to follow all leads related to Moore’s whereabouts. 

Moore was last seen at approximately 10 a.m. on Oct. 14 at Poppies Deli at 520 Central Ave. in East Orange. 

As of Nov. 5, an anonymous local business owner had contributed $5,000 to the search reward; coupled with the $10,000 reward from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office Crime Stoppers Program for information leading to Moore’s location and safe return, this totaled the reward money to $15,000. A Nov. 10 statement from the sheriff’s office announced that an additional $5,000 had been donated.

“Due to an anonymous donation to our program by another local business owner our Crimestoppers reward has been increased up to $20,000,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said Nov. 10.

On Nov. 5, Bindi told those gathered at the press conference that tips on Moore’s whereabouts may be reported anonymously to 973-266-5041. 

“On Oct. 14, at around 7:30 a.m., 14-year-old Jashyah was sent to the store by her mother, Jamie Moore. She said she sent her daughter to Poppies Deli at 520 Central Ave., not far from her 3rd Ward home,” Bindi said during the press conference, “to retrace her steps for a card that she lost on the way. She went back out and she did not return home that day. That was Oct. 14; Ms. Moore said that was the last time she saw her daughter — 20 days ago.”

Since Jashyah Moore went missing, the EOPD has been working with law enforcement partners on the county, state and federal level to follow all leads and find the teenager.

“According to employees and store video surveillance footage from that date, Jashyah entered the store with an older male who paid for her items. The footage does not appear to show them leaving the store together,” Bindi said, adding that the male seen in the surveillance footage with Moore has given full cooperation in this investigation. “Our detectives and police officers are working closely and diligently with our partner agencies, analyzing data and following up all tips that may lead us to Jashyah’s safe return, and we pray that we can bring her home safely. If you come into contact with Jashyah or you see her, get a complete and thorough clothing description and a location.” 

Jamie Moore, the missing teen’s mother, was joined at the press conference by the teen’s aunt, grandmother and younger brother. She recalled the day she last saw her daughter. 

According to Jamie Moore, she sent her daughter to the store at roughly 7:30 a.m. for juice and paper towels; Moore gave her daughter her credit card. Upon returning home from the store, the teen told her mother she had lost the card. Jamie Moore told her daughter to retrace her steps in an effort to find the lost card. Jashyah left to do as her mother suggested and has not been seen since.

Distraught and in tears, Jamie Moore described her daughter as a good girl and urged the public to come forward with any information of her daughter’s whereabouts. 

“Jashyah is a smart girl and I can’t reiterate that enough. She would not stay out, she would not go out and go off with anyone,” Jamie Moore said at the press conference. “She’s a homebody, she plays video games, she likes to cook and her little brother is her best friend. I cannot imagine what she might be going through for her being away from us for this long, being away from her family who loves her very much. If anyone knows anything, please, please come forward. My baby is going to high school and she’s a good girl.”

At the press conference, acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II urged the community to come forward with any information that could help in finding Jashyah Moore. 

“I want to thank Sheriff (Armando) Fontoura and the Sheriff’s Department for putting up the $10,000 reward. We think that’s going to be very helpful in order to get people to remember what they saw,” Stephens said during the Nov. 5 press conference. “This is a continuing investigation, so we can’t talk about the specifics of the case, but we know that someone saw something. No matter how small, it could be very important for this investigation. 

“Keeping this in the public forefront is very important and reminds us that the lives of little black and brown girls are just as important as everyone else’s lives,” he continued. “We know that Gabby Petito’s case was constantly in the news and did yield results and information, so we’re hoping today’s effort will also bring some information so we can find young Jashyah.” 

At a Nov. 10 press conference, Stephens said that the ECPO is coordinating the investigation.

“This office will now coordinate the efforts of all agencies participating in the task force, which has been formed to investigate the disappearance of Jashyah,” the ECPO announced Nov. 10. “Participating agencies include this office, the East Orange police, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the New Jersey State Police and the Orange Police Department. The task force is housed at the East Orange Police Department’s Compstat Center.”