DPD searches woods near missing boy's home

March 22, 2011 2:57:16 PM PDT
Authorities searched a wooded area Tuesday near the home where missing 5-year-old Jadon Higganbothan was last seen.Higganbothan hasn't been seen since October.

Sources say his mother, Vania Sisk, has given authorities conflicting stories about her son's whereabouts.

On Tuesday, officers arrived at the scene on Tammy Lane and Ed Cook Road, near S. Alston Ave around 8 a.m. in response to a tip, according to one ranking investigator on the scene.

He confirmed to ABC11 that they searched for two missing persons, and the activity is related to the investigation of Higgenbothan's and 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy's disappearance.

McKoy's relatives reported her missing in February, but no one's seen her since December.

The search area is less than 1,000 yards from a house on Pear Tree Lane where the boy was believed to be last seen.

McKoy and Higgenbothan reportedly lived there with several other women and children, who were members of a so-called cult called the "Black Hebrew Israelites," before the group suddenly moved to Colorado.

Chopper 11 HD captured images of members of the Durham Police Department on Tuesday carefully checking thick woods and nearby areas including a home on So High Drive for any sign of either missing person.

Homicide detectives, uniformed officers and dogs were also brought in to assist with the search.

Officers conducted a death investigation at the home on Pear Tree Lane just weeks ago.

Search warrants indicate that investigators believe the boy was killed possibly by a man named Pete Moses Jr., who police believe is the leader of the suspected cult.

A local cult member familiar with the people who lived in the Durham house told ABC11 earlier this month that children living in the home may have endured abuse along with their mothers.

"The men lead, the women are to work," the cult member said on condition of anonymity.

According to search warrants obtained by ABC11, an informant has told police that those extreme beliefs may have led to murder.

The warrants say the informant claims Higganbothan and McKoy are dead.

If there were crimes committed in the Durham home, so far, no one is facing criminal charges.

Police still maintain the investigation is a missing persons case.

Moses is expected in court Wednesday on a weapons charged unrelated to this case.

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