The 14-year-old said she was running away from violence at home.
Details have emerged in the criminal case against the mother of a 14-year-old who went missing in October from her home in New Jersey before being sound safe nearly a month later in New York. According to officials, she ran away in order to escape abuse at home.
The criminal complaint against 40-year-old Jamie Moore, filed Friday in Essex County Court, describes several instances of alleged abuse against the young girl, including “stabbing the victim to her shoulder causing a laceration that is still visible, spraying bleach in her eyes, pulling her braids out” and striking her with several objects, including a frying pan.
According to the complaint, Moore also allegedly struck her daughter with her hands and put her knees on her neck and back, “causing her to struggle to breathe.”
Moore is also accused of “educational neglect.” Officials stated in the criminal complaint that she forced the 14-year-old to not attend virtual learning classes during the 2020/2021 school year and did not enroll her in the 2021/2022 school session.
The charges against Moore were announced last week in a press release from acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens and East Orange Police Chief Phyllis Bindi. Police said her daughter had run away from home and did not want to return.
Moore was arrested Friday and is being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility. Attempts to find a lawyer for Moore were unsuccessful. Her detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Moore’s daughter reportedly ran away Oct. 14 after stopping at Poppies Deli Store in East Orange, New Jersey, after Moore allegedly verbally scolded and cursed her for misplacing a grocery card, grabbed her by the neck, scratched her and physically assaulted her, according to the complaint.
The complaint stated that Moore told her daughter not to come back home until she found the card. Officials say she said did not return because her “mom would beat her and leave her all bruised up.”
At a Nov. 5 press conference, Moore tearfully recounted a different narrative about the grocery card than the one that was filed in the criminal complaint: “So, I said, ‘Baby backtrack your steps, because you lost it before and found it. So it’s probably right outside or when you went in your pocket, it probably fell out.’ So she did. She left, she backtracked her steps. That was the last time I saw her.”
“I cannot imagine what she might be going through just being away from us this long, being away from her family who loves her very much,” Moore said at the time. “If anybody knows anything, please, please come forward.”
The 14-year-old — who was found at a women’s shelter in New York after a weekslong search by local officials — and her 3-year-old brother have been removed from Moore’s custody.