Local News

Police check computers, phones in search for Durham boy, woman

Posted April 15, 2011 4:13 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2011 7:03 p.m. EDT

— Police are examining laptop computers and cellphones for evidence in the disappearances of a Durham boy and woman, according to search warrants released Friday.

Jadon Higganbothan, 5, hasn't been seen since October, and Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, 28, has been missing since December.

Investigators said in a previous search warrant that Jadon's mother, Vania Rae Sisk, and her boyfriend, Peter Lucas Moses, were "directly involved" in their deaths.

Sisk, 25, and Moses, 27, were arrested late Tuesday during a raid at 121-B Dunstan Ave. in Durham. They haven't been charged in the case but have been held in the Durham County jail on unrelated charges.

Officers seized two laptops, two cellphones and other items during the raid, and they sought warrants to search the computers and phones to identify witnesses and other suspects in the case.

"This investigation has revealed that Moses utilized the Internet, text messaging and other forms of electronic communication to establish contact with the missing female and others," a detective wrote in the application for the warrant.

Investigators also obtained search warrants Thursday to collect DNA samples from Sisk and Moses.

A previous search warrant indicated that investigators found a bullet, shell casing and evidence of human blood and "overt cleaning" inside a house at 2109 Pear Tree Lane in Durham.

Investigators allege that Sisk and her son, Moses and McKoy lived in the house with members of the Black Hebrews, a religious sect that believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel.

A confidential informant told Durham police in February that both Jadon and McKoy were killed in the Pear Tree Lane house and that their bodies were disposed of.

Police have combed the house numerous times in the past two months for evidence – Moses was found hiding in a cabinet during one search – and they also have searched an abandoned house and some woods nearby.

Sisk, Moses and others moved to Colorado Springs early this year, and Durham police asked Colorado authorities to check on Jadon's whereabouts. Authorities put several other children found in the Colorado Springs home into protective custody but couldn't find Jadon.

Sisk later returned to Durham and met with investigators in early March. She told them she left Jadon with an acquaintance on Feb. 20, but police said her statements were inconsistent.