UPDATE: Runaway girl has been found — and her mother has been arrested on child abuse charges. 


 

What we’ve learned from the Gabby Petitto case is that every missing person story, especially those involving a young person, is a scary story with the potential for a tragic ending,

The story of Jashyah Moore is just as sad and frightening. Moore, an East Orange teen, was walking back to the market where she had just picked up a couple of groceries, tracing her steps to try to find the EBT card she had lost, thinking she dropped it along the way.

That was over three weeks ago. And she hasn’t been seen since.

The girl's mother said her daughter went to a store on Central Avenue in East Orange at about 7:30 am on Oct. 14 for juice and paper towels.

Crews from the city of East Orange and neighboring towns used boats and sonar to search a pond in the park near where she was last seen. And Tuesday evening the family, desperate for clues, took part in a search party with friends, family members, and town residents participating.

All of these details are what you would usually hear in the case of a person's disappearance. The community coming together, and the person missing without a trace.

Everyone has watched enough TV to know that the longer someone goes missing, the less of a chance that he or she will be found safe and sound.

I don’t wanna play online sleuth here, but what’s so unusual about this case is that surveillance video from the store showed Jashyah walking into the store with an adult man who paid for her items. Unfortunately, the video does not show the two leaving.

Her mother revealed there was a pending domestic violence case involving her estranged husband, an East Orange police officer, for an alleged 2020 incident that happened in Irvington, when the family lived there.

No one knows if that’s connected to her disappearance and so far, according to authorities, there is nothing to indicate criminality in her disappearance. But who was that man? And will the authorities be able to find him and question him?

What really happened to Jashyah?

Everyone has watched enough TV to know that the longer someone goes missing, the less of a chance that he or she will be found safe and sound.

Her mother reports that at the time of her disappearance, Jashyah was wearing khaki pants, black boots and a black jacket. She is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs about 135 pounds.

At the moment, The Essex County Crime Stoppers Program is offering a reward up to $20,000.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 877-847-7432 or 973-266-5041. All tips can be reported anonymously. Also, anyone can report seeing Jashyah by calling the police department’s main line, 973-266-5000.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

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