Local News

Fingerprint links accused Durham sect leader to dead bodies

Posted February 8, 2012

— Investigators have matched a fingerprint from the shallow graves of a Durham boy and a woman with the leader of a religious sect who has been charged in their deaths, according to search warrants released Wednesday.

The bodies of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28, were found in June buried behind a house on Ashe Street in Durham. McKoy was shot twice in the top of the head and once in the right arm, and Jadon was shot once in the top of the head, according to autopsy reports.

Peter Lucas Moses, 27, faces first-degree murder charges in their deaths, and prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty against him.

Search warrants seeking high-quality fingerprints of three others charged in the case – Moses' mother, Sheilda Harris, his brother, P. Leonard Moses, and girlfriend Larhonda Renee Smith – state that Pete Moses' fingerprint was found on a piece of clear tape used to secure trash bags covering the bodies.

Investigators want the fingerprints to compare with other partial fingerprints found on the tape and the trash bags, according to the warrants.

Authorities said Moses led a religious group of women and children who called him “Lord” and feared him. The group lived in a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane in Durham, and searches of the home turned up evidence of blood, shell casings, projectiles and signs of cleaning.

An informant told police that Moses killed Jadon in October 2010 because he thought the child was gay and ordered that McKoy be killed two months later after he learned she couldn't have children and wanted to leave the group.

Jadon's mother, Vania Rae Sisk, and two other women who lived with Moses, Smith and Lavada Quinzetta Harris, have been charged with murder in McKoy's death and as accessories in the boy's death.

Harris, Leonard Moses and his sister, Sheila Moses, are charged as accessories in McKoy's death.


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  • biker4133 Feb 8, 2012

    No, Bill never leaves forensic evidence at the scene of his wrongdoings. Financial auditors scare the daylights out of him though.

  • udaycoosay Feb 8, 2012

    biker, I was asking if those were his prints.

  • biker4133 Feb 8, 2012

    If you're waiting for Bill Bell to react to this case, you'll die waiting. Wouldn't be politically expedient you know.

  • biker4133 Feb 8, 2012

    I'm glad justice is on the horizon. Imagine the traction this story would have if the perp was the leader of a white supremacist sect.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Feb 8, 2012

    This man was extremely religious and the story title should read "Religious Leader Linked to Dead Bodies".

    The use of the word "sect" implies that someone else's religion is somehow less valid than yours...which is definitely not doing-unto-others.

  • nanasix Feb 8, 2012

    It's time to wrap this case up and go to court.

  • mikeyj Feb 8, 2012

    westernwake writes: This development is not surprising. Let's hope the prosecutor has a rock solid case and puts these people away for a long time.
    Let's hope the prosecutor and the judge just have some plain old "rocks" period.

  • Scubagirl Feb 8, 2012

    not a big surprise. Remember when this happened and many thought he had something to do with it. Now I guess/hope they can prove it.

  • Statick Feb 8, 2012

    First I've ever heard of this case. My God...

  • dontstopnow Feb 8, 2012

    Hang em high is all I have to say about these horrible people. It takes a weak minded person to think another human being is their 'Lord"...