Local News

Warrants: Police told missing Durham boy slain

Posted March 3, 2011 3:50 p.m. EST
Updated March 4, 2011 4:19 p.m. EST

— A 5-year-old Durham boy last seen in October might have been killed by a religious sect, according to search warrants from Colorado that WRAL News obtained Thursday.

Durham police said Thursday that they still consider Jadon Higganbothan missing, and they said they also are looking for a missing woman who lived with Jadon and his mother, Vania Rae Sisk.

Colorado authorities said they became involved in the case last week when Durham police called to ask them about the whereabouts of Jadon and Sisk, who recently moved from Durham to the Colorado Springs area.

Authorities went to a Woodland Park, Colo., home on Feb. 23 to ask Sisk about the missing boy, but neither she nor her son was there. Ten other children were taken from the home and placed in the custody of the Teller County, Colo., Department of Social Services.

The search warrants from the Teller County Sheriff's Office state that Sisk moved from Durham with a group of followers of the Black Hebrews, a religious sect that believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel.

According to the warrants, a confidential Durham police informant who is a former member of the Black Hebrews told investigators that Jadon was shot by a member of the group in October, wrapped in plastic and stuffed into a suitcase. The suitcase was disposed of a few days later, the warrants state.

"There's nothing a 5-year-old could do to deserve to die," said Jadon's father, Jamiel Higganbothan.

Higganbothan and Sisk divorced a few years ago, and he has had trouble keeping in touch with Jadon since then. He said he has lost hope that his son is alive and only wants closure.

Sisk returned to Durham on Wednesday from Colorado and told local investigators that she had left Jadon with an acquaintance on Feb. 20, police said.

Sisk, however, told police two different accounts. First, she said she left Jadon with a woman named Charlene Keith on Danube Lane, police said, but she later said she left him with a woman named Alicia Sanders or Sanderson who lives somewhere on North Roxboro Road.

Keith said Friday that she hasn't been contacted by police in the case.

She told investigators she hasn't been able to locate the boy since leaving him with the woman. He was last seen wearing a yellow T-shirt, a blue coat and jeans and was leaving in a burgundy Pontiac Grand Am, she said.

Sisk's stepmother has asked private investigator Bobby Brown, who regularly appears on the cable television show "Dog the Bounty Hunter," to help find Jadon.

Brown said the woman, who lives in Colorado, was concerned by a reference Sisk made about the world ending in 2012. Sisk also would put her stepmother off whenever the woman asked about Jadon, Brown said.

"Her only answer was very lackadaisical, that (Jadon) is fine and someday soon everybody will know that he’s fine," Brown said in a phone interview. "She is just beside herself that her stepdaughter will absolutely not say where this little boy is.”

Sisk's stepmother also told Brown that the group Sisk lives with believes one man with them is holy.

"I believe, in Vania's words, that some of them call him a prophet. Some of them call him the apostle. Some of them call him the anointed one," Brown said.

Woman missing from Durham home

Durham police have searched a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane several times in recent days for evidence in the case. Technicians removed a box and a bag of items from the house Tuesday.

Police said Thursday that they also were searching for a woman who lived at the house with Sisk and Jadon.

Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy was last seen in December, police said. Her family in Washington, D.C., reported her missing on Feb. 1.

According to the Colorado search warrants, the confidential informant told Durham police that McKoy got into an argument with another member of the Black Hebrews in December, and she was beaten up and shot to death by members of the group. They later disposed of her body, the warrants state.

Investigators went to the home several times in February to ask about McKoy, police said, and on Feb. 18, they found Peter Lucas Moses Jr., 27, hiding in a cabinet inside.

Moses is a member of the Black Hebrews group who moved from Durham to Colorado with Sisk, according to the search warrants.

Moses was arrested on outstanding warrants charging him with carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm in the city and writing a worthless check. He was released after posting a $1,500 bond.

McKoy is described as a black woman, 5 feet 4 inches tall and about 160 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black hat, black coat, jeans and black shoes.

Anyone with information on Jadon's or McKoy's whereabouts is asked to call the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4440, extension 29335, or Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.