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Mother of Missing N.J. Teen Who Said Daughter Must Have Been Abducted Had Actually Stabbed Victim, Refused to Enroll Her in School: Authorities

Image of Jamie A. Moore.

Jamie A. Moore.

When a teenage girl went missing last month, her mother appeared in public as a worried parent, pleading for her child’s return. Prosecutors now say she had actually perpetuated a horrid pattern of abuse against the 14-year-old. Jamie A. Moore, 40, was first charged with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child on Friday, but officials are now elaborating on the claims against her.

“The endangering charges include allegations of physical abuse and neglect, including physically assaulting her 14-year-old daughter, forcing her to log out of online school during the 2020-21 school year and failing to enroll her daughter in school during the 2021-22 school year when they moved to another community,” the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday.

Jashyah Moore.

Jashyah Moore

Physical abuse included striking her daughter–previously identified as Jashyah Moore, 14–with a frying pan in several incidents, stabbing her in the shoulder, spraying bleach in her eye, and yanking her braids out, according to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC News. Jamie Moore forced the girl to panhandle, to miss school to care for her 3-year-old brother, and even to cook for themselves, authorities said. If the 14-year-old did not cook, they would not eat, officials said.

Jashyah Moore went missing Oct. 14 from East Orange, New Jersey, and wound up almost a month later in nearby New York City. She appeared to be a runaway, Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said on Friday, hours before his office announced charges against the mother.

“Obviously, this was an extremely resilient and resourceful young lady, and she decided that she wanted to be some place other than where she had been, and she made that happen,” he said.

During the disappearance, Jamie Moore pleaded for her daughter’s safe return. She said that when she last saw her daughter, the girl had lost a credit card. She said she told Jashyah to retrace her steps.

“She, Jashyah, is a smart girl and I can’t reiterate that enough,” the mother said, according to WABC. “She would not stay out. She would not go out, go off with anyone. She’s a homebody. She plays video games. She likes to cook. She plays with her little brother. He’s like her best friend. I cannot imagine what she might be going through, just being away from us for this long, away from her family who loves her very much.”

Moore also said that she believed her daughter must have been abducted.

“She did not run away, she was abducted,” Moore previously said. “I don’t know who did it, but we’re looking for you.”

Now officials reportedly say the mother verbally and physically abused the 14-year-old girl for losing the credit card.

It is unclear if defendant Moore has an attorney in this matter.

[Image via Essex County Prosecutor’s Office]

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