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.
NEW YORK — A 14-year-old girl who disappeared nearly a month ago after visiting an East Orange deli to pick up some essentials for her family, was found in New York City on Thursday, an official said.
Officials were expected to hold a press briefing around 11 a.m. Friday. Watch live above when it happens.
Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II told PIX11 News on Thursday night that the girl was “safe and is being provided all appropriate services.”
The NYPD early Friday said a sharp-eyed good Samaritan spotted the teen near West 111th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem on Thursday.
They went over to her and asked the girl if she was the missing teen, to which the girl initially responded, “no,” seemingly not wanting to be recognized, authorities said.
She was taken to a local police precinct where she ultimately told officers she had been unhappy at home, according to the NYPD.
Police confirmed the teen was in good physical condition and was taken to a nearby hospital for an evaluation.
Her mother, Jamie Moore, told PIX11 News she had just finished handing out flyers around 9:10 p.m. and was holding hands in prayer with supporters when she got the call that her daughter had been found.
“I fell to my knees, I was so happy,” Moore said late Thursday night.
As of Sunday, investigators did not suspect foul play in Moore’s disappearance.
Moore’s case didn’t receive much attention when she first vanished on Oct. 14 — so family friends sent handmade “missing” posters to the Mary Murphy Mystery Facebook page.
The teen’s mother said her daughter went to U.S. Food Market on Central Avenue in East Orange at about 7:30 a.m. for juice and paper towels. After she lost the family’s EBT card, Moore’s mother told her to retrace her steps — that second trip is when Moore vanished.
PIX11 News was first to tell the story of the 14-year-old from a close-knit family, who loved to play video games, especially “PlayStation.”
On Sunday, investigators used sonar to search a pond as they looked for possible leads in her disappearance.
“We’re confident that we’re going to bring her home safely to her family,” Essex County undersheriff Amir Jones said Sunday.