Missing teen case: NJ investigators search pond for missing teen; reward raised to $15,000 after donation

New Jersey

Breaking update as of Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, 3:30 p.m.: The mother of a New Jersey teen who disappeared and was later found safe in New York City was arrested Friday, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Editor’s note: Though the teen’s name was widely publicized during the search for her, PIX11 News is not identifying her now that she’s been found and is considered the victim of an alleged crime.

Breaking update as of Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021 at 10 p.m.: The teen was found in New York City, officials said.

Original story –

EAST ORANGE, NJ — Investigators used sonar to search a pond as they looked for possible leads in the disappearance of a 14-year-old New Jersey girl.

The teen vanished on Oct. 14 after she went out to buy juice and paper towels at a nearby deli. The reward for information in her case was raised to $15,000 Saturday after a local businessman donated $5,000.

“We don’t want to leave any stone unturned,” Essex County undersheriff Amir Jones said. “We know she’s been in the park before; Poppy’s Deli is about five blocks from here, so we want to check this park thoroughly.”

Jones said they have been getting leads and people have called in tips.

“We’re confident that we’re going to bring her home safely to her family,” he said.

At this point, investigators have they do not believe there is any foul play connected to the teen’s disappearance, but they need the public’s help.

“Keeping this in the public forefront is very important. This reminds us that the lives of a little Black and brown girls are just as important as everybody else’s lives,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stevens said.

Jamie Moore, the teen’s mother, issued an emotional plea for help on Friday.

“If anybody knows anything, please, please come forward,” Moore’s mother begged. “My baby’s going to high school. She’s a good girl.”

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