Third fingerprint found in 'cult' case


Higganbothan and 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy were found buried in plastic bags by a plumber working in the backyard of a home in the 2600 block of Ashe Street last summer.

Peter Moses Jr., 28, was indicted last year on first-degree murder charges in the case.

According to search warrants obtained by ABC11 earlier this year, investigators found two of Moses' fingerprints on tape used to secure the plastic around the bodies.

Along with Moses Jr., Higganbothan's mother 25-year-old Vania Sisk, 40-year-old Lavada Quinzetta Harris, and 40-year-old Larhonda Renee Smith have been indicted on murder charges in connection with McKoy's death.

Now, sources tell ABC11 investigators have identified a third fingerprint linked to a suspect already charged in connection with the crime.

McKoy and Higganbothan lived with a polygamist religious group led by Moses known as the "Black Hebrew Israelites."

At a court hearing last year, Durham District Attorney Tracey Cline said Moses believed the boy was homosexual and that was unacceptable to his religious beliefs. She said Moses shot Higganbothan in the garage of a home on Pear Tree Lane in front of his mother.

Cline said investigators believe McKoy was killed because she tried to escape from the group and it feared she would tell police about the murder.

Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty for Moses.

A court hearing in the case was held Tuesday morning. Defense attorneys said they're still waiting for access to the state's main witness in the case, Zayna Thomas. They argued she should be considered a co-defendant because she allegedly admitted to holding a gun to McKoy before handing the weapon over to another member of the Black Hebrew Israelites group.

No date for trial has been set.

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