Investigation focuses on missing boy, woman
DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- Search warrants from Colorado show Durham detectives suspect a missing 4-year-old boy was shot by a reputed polygamist and the child's body stuffed in a suitcase.
The warrants state an informant told investigators that an adult woman was also murdered at a home on Pear Tree Lane in Durham last month.
ABC11 first reported the story as a missing person case earlier this week. Police were searching for 25-year-old Vania Rae Sisk and her 4-year-old son Jadon Higganbothan.
Sisk was part of a home-based church group known as the Black Hebrews living at the house on Pear Tree Lane in Durham. According to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, Sisk's relatives say the leader of the group is 27-year-old Peter Lucas Moses Jr. - who they describe as a polygamist.
In an interview with ABC11 earlier this week, Jadon's father, Jamiel Higganbothan, said 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."
The warrants obtained by ABC11 say that Durham detectives contacted Colorado authorities in February after the church group - along with Sisk and three of her four children - moved there. Durham authorities wanted to know Sisk's whereabouts and wanted to establish the wellbeing of Jadon.
Authorities in Colorado found the adults along with 10 children ranging in age from infants to 8-year-olds in the Cripple Creek, Colorado area. 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.
The warrants also outline why Durham detectives suspect something happened to Jadon. They state that investigators got information from a confidential informant who is a former member of the group "who got away." The informant told them Moses got extremely angry with the 6-year-old in October 2010.
"Peter Moses had grabbed a gun and began pacing angrily around the house. The informant heard Peter Moses call for the 5-year-old boy … to the basement and then heard loud music and the sound of a gunshot," says one warrant.
The informant later saw the boy's body wrapped in plastic, stuffed in a suitcase, and placed in the attic of the home.
"The informant told investigators that several days later the body began to stink and Peter Moses was asked to remove the body, which he did," says the warrants.
The warrants go on to state that in February, another member of the Black Hebrews got into an argument with Moses over car keys that could not be found. The woman - 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy - was beaten unconscious by two female members of the group.
The warrants say Moses gave the women a gun and later told one of them - Jadon's mother Vania Sisk - to shoot McKoy.
"Which Vania Sisk did," says the warrants.
Moses then helped the women remove McKoy's body from the home and bury it.
The search warrants say Colorado authorities were looking for a 9mm handgun.
McKoy's sister tells ABC11 that she hasn't heard from her younger sister since early December - when McKoy returned to her apartment in DC with her boyfriend, Peter Moses, to pick up some belongings, telling her family she was going to be in Durham with Moses for a while.
"She had gave us a hug and said that she loved us and that she would be calling us soon because she's coming back," McKoy's sister Janayia Dubose said. "We're still concerned about whether she's alive or dead and this is not like my sister, so it's like really devastating to my family."
Dubose says her sister had known Moses since high school and McKoy reconnected with him on Facebook last year. She says they began a long-distance relationship in which McKoy would travel frequently to Durham and says one of her visits in August turned violent.
"She's saying that he smacked her in the mouth with the gun and he shot at her three times," Dubose said.
After the assault, Dubose says she noticed a change in her sister, but says McKoy stayed in the relationship and was visiting Moses in Durham when she went missing.
"I became concerned when I noticed two days had passed and she didn't put any minutes on her phone," Dubose said.
Dubose also says her sister was fearful of Moses' alleged cult.
"She was like, 'You don't understand about how it works, they kill people' and that he was known for carrying guns and that everyone down there who was affiliated with him was afraid of him," Dubose said.
McKoy's sister says the family needs some closure.
ABC11 contacted Durham police Thursday. A spokesman would not confirm the case is a death investigation.
In a news release, the spokesperson said investigators went to the house on Pear Tree Lane several times in February to inquire about Antoinetta McKoy. On February 18, investigators found Moses hiding in a cabinet and arrested him on old warrants charging him with carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm within the city limits, and writing a worthless check.
He was released from Durham County Jail after posting a $1,500 bond.
Anyone with information on McKoy or Higganbothan is asked to call Durham Investigator Robinson at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29335 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrest in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
durham county, durham police, homicide, peter moses, local/state
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