Investigators increase reward in search for Jashyah Moore, New Jersey girl missing for almost a month: "We know she needs our help"
Investigators are offering an increased reward in the search for missing 14-year-old Jashyah Moore in East Orange, New Jersey. Mayor Ted Green said Tuesday a local business owner made a donation to bring the reward to $15,000, CBS New York reported.
"Jashyah is one of our own. She is only 14 years old, and we know she needs our help," Green said. "We're asking this community, as we have been asking from day one, to help us in locating this young lady."
Moore has been missing since Oct. 14.
Her mother said she sent the teen to Poppie's Deli on Central Avenue. When she returned home, she realized she had lost her card. The girl went back out to retrace her steps, but hasn't been seen since.
"We are pleading with anyone within earshot: If you see Jashyah, if you hear or overhear someone talking about Jashyah, please contact us on all the tip numbers provided on our missing persons posters," said East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi.
Authorities said video showed an older man pay for Moore at the deli, but he was identified and spoke to investigators. Police have also spoken to the teenager's stepfather, a former East Orange cop, who is involved in a domestic violence case against her mother.
Police said there is no foul play suspected and both individuals are cooperating.
On Saturday, search teams turned their attention to a pond inside Monte Irvin Park in nearby Orange. The Essex County prosecutor and sheriff told CBS New York they're leaving "no stone unturned."
"It's been 26 days. My baby should be home," Jashyah's mother, Jamie Moore, said. "My daughter is 14 years old. She don't deserve this."
Tuesday evening, people in East Orange took to the streets, handing out fliers in hopes of finding Jashyah.
"She's depending on me to find her," Moore told CBS New York.
She believes Jashyah would never run away.
"She did not run away. She did not run away. She was abducted, OK. I don't know who did it, but we looking for you … Let her go. She's 14. She has not lived," Moore said.
Moore says her sadness is turning into anger now, and she had a message for her daughter.
"You know you my baby, and I know you would have called me by now. I know you would have came, you would've never stayed out one night. Something happened to my daughter … I love you. If you see this, I'm looking for you. I don't care what, if I gotta die myself to find you," Moore said.
With the search now stretching into its fourth week, some have lost patience with the authorities.
"If it was one of their child, they'd stop the city. Before your car could get into Newark, you'd be pulled over," East Orange resident Tony Olajuwon said.
Some also feel there's a double standard when it comes to the search for missing African-American kids.
"We are ignored. We are definitely ignored," East Orange resident Shamira Butler said. "Black girls who are missing every day, and we don't get to see them plastered on the news or anything."
Moore is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs around 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing khakis, black boots and a black jacket.
Anyone with information about her is asked to call police at 877-847-7432 or 973-266-5041. Tips can be made anonymously.
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