NEW YORK - A New Jersey teenager who disappeared nearly a month ago while running an errand was found safe — and now her mother faces criminal charges, authorities said.
Jashyah Moore, 14, of East Orange, was in New York City, according to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens II.
Authorities charged her mother Jamie Moore, 39, with two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She is accused of physical abuse and also neglect.
Moore reported Jashyah missing on Oct. 14 after the girl went to a nearby store to buy food and did not return home. Surveillance video showed a man buying the items for her but then the two then went separate ways, East Orange police said.
Moore repeatedly insisted her daughter did not run away. But authorities dispute that.
"Obviously this was an extremely resilient and resourceful young lady and she decided that she wanted to be someplace other than where she had been," Stephens said. "And she made it happen."
Authorities say a good samaritan recognized the missing teenager in Harlem on Thursday night, approached her, and then called 911. When she was found, Jashyah had cut her hair in an effort to change her appearance, officials said.
"She was in several locations, as far as we can tell, in New Jersey, ultimately, though, ending up in New York where, I believe, she was staying in a shelter in Brooklyn," Stephens said.
New Jersey child protection authorities have taken custody of Jashyah and her 3-year-old brother. Jashyah wasn't enrolled in school, officials said.