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Jashyah Moore's Mother Charged After Missing Teen Found Safe In NYC

EAST ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- The mother of 14-year-old Jashyah Moore is under arrest.

The East Orange teen had been missing since Oct. 14, but was found safe Thursday night in New York City.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reports, officials announced Friday that Jashyah Moore ran away.

When she was found, she made concerning statements to police about her home life.

Friday, they questioned her mother, and now she is in custody, facing charges of child endangerment.

Jashyah Moore's mother, Jamie, had been pleading for her daughter's safe return, posting flyers, starting a GoFundMe page, organizing search parties, and insisting she did not run away.

"I feel like somebody may have her against her will," Jamie Moore said. "I love you. If you see this, I'm looking for you."

WATCH: Authorities Thank Public For Help Finding Jashyah Moore 

But the Essex County prosecutor's office says 14-year-old Jashyah Moore did not want to be found. She ran away.

"Obviously this was an extremely resilient and resourceful young lady and she decided she wanted to be someplace other than where she had been and she made it happen," said Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens.

The teen was last seen at a couple of East Orange delis last month, had been at several locations in New Jersey, ultimately ending up at a Brooklyn shelter.

She was found near the corner of West 111th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem after going to meet someone who then called police.

They say, when asked, she initially denied her identity.

"Where she was, she seemed to be more so at ease than where she was," Stephens said.

BREAKING: Acting Essex County Prosecutor says 14-year-old Jashyah Moore ran away last month. She was found unharmed. A...

Posted by John Dias on Friday, November 12, 2021

Mother and daughter were not reunited. Authorities brought Jamie Moore in for questioning after Jashyah made claims about her home life.

The 14-year-old had previously been enrolled in the Irvington school district, but in September her mother told them she would transfer to East Orange. School officials say Jashyah was never enrolled.

They've now arrested 39-year-old Jamie Moore, charging with endangering the welfare of a child. The charges include allegations of physical abuse and neglect.

Both Jashyah and her 3-year-old brother are in the custody of the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. Earlier Friday, the East Orange Mayor had a message.

"To our young people that at any time we can be of some help and you need to cry out to someone, we are here for you," Mayor Ted Green said.

Officials praised the spotlight placed on Jashyah's case, which helped bring her home.

"This is a perfect example for the potential to have positive outcomes when we come together and work as a whole community," said Chief Phyllis Bindi of the East Orange Police Department.

Watch Alice Gainer's report 

A concerned community was in shock Friday night at the twist in the high-profile mystery.

"She needs to be in jail if she was beating on that girl," East Orange resident Corey Alston told CBS2's Jessica Layton.

"I'm glad that we found her as a community," one man said, adding, "She wasn't good at home, and she was looking for refuge from other places."

The allegations of physical abuse and neglect were sadly not a surprise for community activist Donna Jackson.

"I'm here today to make sure she is not returned to that home. Somebody has got to speak for this baby," she said. "This baby was out there panhandling every day while she lived in East Orange. How does panhandling, not going to school, what does that say?

The New Jersey Division of Children and Families says, due to confidentiality rules, it cannot confirm or deny whether an investigation has ever taken place.

As for the $20,000 reward, investigators are still trying to track down the Good Samaritan. It's unclear if they want the money.

CBS2's John Dias and Jessica Layton contributed to this report. Editor's note: This story was first published Nov. 12.

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