Local/State

Boy's body found in 'cult' murder case

Thursday, June 09, 2011
4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan

Investigators have identified a second set of human remains found Thursday at a home in the 2600 block of Ashe Street as 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan.

The remains were buried in a plastic bag - the same as the body of a woman found at the same address Wednesday.

Now, 27-year-old Peter Moses is charged with murder in both deaths. Six others are also charged in connection with the death of 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy. Her body was found Wednesday by a plumber working in the backyard of the home.

McKoy and Higganbothan were both last seen alive last year. The Ashe Street home is located a few miles from another home on Pear Tree Lane where McKoy and Higganbothan lived with a cult group known as the "Black Hebrew Israelites."

Peter Moses is the suspected cult leader. ABC11 sources confirm the Ashe Street home was once the rental property of Moses' mother.

On Wednesday, the plumber who called 911 told an operator that he uncovered something buried in a plastic bag after the homeowner placed a service call about what was assumed to be a sewage problem.

"We see something buried in a plastic bag ... it has a horrible smell ... and we don't think it's an animal or nothing, it seems like it could possibly be another human," the worker told the 911 operator.

Click here to listen to the 911 call

Also charged are Higganbothan's mother, 25-year-old Vania Sisk, 40-year-old Lavada Quinzetta Harris, 56-year-old Sheilda Evelyn Harris, 21-year-old P. Leonard Moses, 20-year-old Sheila Falisha Moses, and 40-year-old Larhonda Renee Smith.

During their first court appearances on Thursday, all seven were denied bond. A probable cause hearing will be held on June 30.

"They want to get more details about exactly who did what," criminal defense attorney Hart Miles said. "If you're a lesser player and you're involvement is more minor you want to make sure and come to the table and cooperate so that that the potential for the harshest punishment comes off the table."

On Friday Peter Moses appeared in court again, this time on a second murder charge in connection with Higganbothan's death. He recieved no bond and his next hearing will also be held on June 30.

"I went from anger to sadness to happy back to sadness," Jadon Higganbothan's father Jamiel Higganbothan told ABC11 when he heard the news that his son's body had been found. "I have a lot of mixed emotions so I can't really even tell you which emotions that I'm experiencing right now cause its all of them."

Higganbothan's mother was arrested in April during a raid at a Durham home but posted bond. At that time, she was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. Sisk told police she last saw her son in Durham on February 20, when she left him with an acquaintance.

However, the last confirmed sighting of the 5-year-old was October 2010. McKoy was also reported missing in February and was last seen in early December 2010.

According to search warrants, a search of the Pear Tree Lane property in April turned up traces of blood, a spent bullet, and shell casings.

In addition to the murder charges filed Wednesday against Moses, he faces charges that were filed in April. Those include one count of second-degree kidnapping, one count of assault by pointing a gun, one count of assault on a female, one count of communicating threats and failure to appear in court.

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Tags:
durham county, homicide, durham police, peter moses, local/state, tamara gibbs
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