Local/State

Durham woman found, son still missing

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Authorities in Colorado say they have found a 25-year-old Durham woman whose son was reported missing in North Carolina.

They say Vania Rae Sisk disappeared last week after police contacted her in Teller County to question her about her 6-year-old son, Jadon Higganbothan.

The child's father, Jamiel Higganbothan, tells ABC11 Eyewitness News that his son and ex-wife had unusual living arrangements.

"It was a lot people staying in the house," he said. "It was her, it was the kids, it was his sister, her kids."

When police went to a home on Pear Tree Lane where Sisk is believed to have lived with Jadon, they did not find the 6-year-old.

Neighbors say the children were homeschooled and rarely seen. The witnesses also say the women in the home kept close to a man who ran the household and then they all moved to Colorado.

Authorities found nine children in Colorado ranging in age from infants to 8-year-olds.

The children were placed in protective custody with the Teller County Department of Social Services. A judge then placed the juveniles in the custody of Durham Social Services. It is unclear whether those children are enroute to North Carolina.

Teller County officials say Sisk was supposed to attend a child custody hearing last Thursday, but did not show up.

Authorities later caught up with Sisk on Monday while she was bonding a friend out of the Teller County jail. They say someone recognized her and turned her in to authorities.

Sisk isn't facing any charges but authorities questioned her.

According to Higganbothan, Jadon has been missing since October but Sisk never reported him missing.

"They [police] are telling me that something bad did happen," Higganbothan said. "Some witnesses came forward."

Durham investigators are keeping details about the case under wraps. There are no criminal charges in connection with Jadon's disappearance.

"I keep seeing my son," he said. "I keep seeing his face, thinking about what they're saying happened to him. I don't want to assume the worst. I want to know where he is."

Teller County sheriff's Sgt. Nick Olmsted tells The Colorado Springs Gazette that Vania Sisk is believed to belong to a home-based church known as Black Hebrews.

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