Local News

Mother of slain Durham woman calls for death penalty

Posted June 10, 2011 12:56 p.m. EDT
Updated October 18, 2011 2:39 p.m. EDT

— The mother of a woman whose remains were found buried behind a Durham home this week said Friday that she hopes everyone involved in her daughter's death faces the death penalty.

A plumbing crew digging in the backyard of 2622 Ashe St. while searching for a possible sewage problem uncovered human remains on Wednesday. Investigators searching the site found a second set of remains"consistent with those of a small child" on Thursday, police said.

Sources told WRAL News that the first body has been positively identified as Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy and that it had been buried for more than five months.

McKoy, 28, has been missing since December. An informant told police in February that she and Jadon Higganbothan, 5, were killed inside a home at 2109 Pear Tree Lane and their bodies disposed of.

Jadon was last seen in October.

Peter Lucas Moses, 27, who has been charged in both deaths, appeared before a judge Friday for the second day in a row to face the charges. Both times, he was ordered held in the Durham County jail without bond.

Six other people have been charged with murder in McKoy's death: Lavada Quinzetta Harris, 40, Larhonda Renee Smith, 27, Sheilda Evelyn Harris, 56, Sheila Falisha Moses, 20, Pete Leonard Moses, 21, all of 2146 Charles St., and Vania Rae Sisk, 25, of 715 Bernice St.

All are being held without bond in the Durham County jail.

Sisk is Jadon's mother and is believed to have been dating Peter Lucas Moses. Leonard and Sheila Moses are Peter Moses' siblings, and Sheilda Harris is his mother.

Sheilda Harris rented the Ashe Street home for about a year until February.

Police said Lavada Harris and Smith lived with the group at the Pear Tree Lane home at one point. Police repeatedly searched the house, and a search warrant states that they found a bullet, shell casing and evidence of human blood and "overt cleaning" inside.

A second search warrant stated that Peter Lucas Moses and Sisk were "directly involved" in the deaths of a woman and child.

McKoy's mother, Yvonne McKoy said she spoke with Peter Lucas Moses by phone in January when she was searching for her daughter. He told her that her daughter was fine and that he would bring her home, she said.

Moses and McKoy met when she was 14 or 15 and both lived in Washington, D.C., her mother said. Yvonne McKoy said she prevented the two from dating, noting that she had a bad feeling about Moses. Her daughter reconnected with him online last year, she said.

Yvonne McKoy, who still lives in Washington, said she can't understand how seven people are involved in her daughter's death, including other mothers.

"How can they live with themselves?" she said.

A court document has linked members of the group with the Black Hebrews, a religious sect that believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel. Members of the Moses family have denied any link to the sect, saying only that they are very religious.

Prosecutors haven't decided yet whether to seek the death penalty against any of the suspects.