Officials say a man being held in the death of a Durham woman whose remains were discovered behind a house has been charged with murder in the death of a 5-year-old boy.
Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said Thursday that Pete Lucas Moses Jr. was charged in the slaying of Jadon Higganbothan.
Authorities believe a body found at the house Wednesday is that of is that of Antoinetta McKoy, who disappeared five months ago. Jadon had also been reported missing. Michael said remains found Thursday at the house were consistent with those of a small child.
Police have said they believe McKoy and Jadon's mother, 25-year-old Vania Rae Sisk, were members of a polygamist sect. Sisk is one of seven people charged with murder. All seven are in police custody and are being held without bond.
McKoy's family, who reported her missing on Feb. 1, said they hadn't seen her since early December.
Investigators believe McKoy had been living with Sisk and Pete Lucas Moses Jr., in a religious sect known as the Black Hebrews. The group believes it descends directly from the ancient tribes of Israel, and some of the sects, including the one in Durham, practice polygamy.
As police investigated McKoy's disappearance, they discovered Jadon was missing.
Court documents say that a former sect member, who wasn't identified, had told investigators that McKoy and the boy had been killed. The documents say the former member reported that Moses became angry with the boy and took him to the basement. He said he then heard the sound of a gunshot.
He said Moses put the body in a suitcase, which he eventually disposed of after leaving it in the attic until the body began to stink.
Sisk, however, told investigators that she left her son with an acquaintance on Feb. 20 of this year.
The former member also said Moses told Sisk to shoot McKoy after a heated argument about car keys.
Besides Moses and Sisk, the others charged in the case are: Lavada Quinzetta Harris, 40; Larhonda Renee Smith, 40; Sheilda Evelyn Harris, 56; Sheila Falisha Moses, 20 and P. Leonard Moses, 21.
Police say they believe they have found the body of a Durham woman who was a member of a small polygamist group.
Durham police Chief Jose Lopez said Wednesday that authorities believe remains found in the backyard of a home belong to 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy, whose family said they haven't seen her since early December. An investigation discovered that 5-year-old Jadon Higganbothan is missing.
Lopez says two people in custody are charged with McKoy's murder and that police have issued warrants for five others, three of whom turned themselves in at police headquarters late Wednesday. One person in custody is Peter Lucas Moses Jr., who had previously been indicted on kidnapping and assault charges.
Police say McKoy, Moses and others are members of a religious group called the Black Hebrews.
The search for a missing woman and a 5-year-old boy has expanded with the search of a second house in Durham County.
A police crime lab unit worked again Monday at the house where Jadan Higgenbothan and Antoinetta McCoy were last seen. City utilities crews helped search of the neighborhood sewer system and officers searched the nearby woods with dogs.
Blood, a fired bullet and shell casing were found at the home in an earlier search.
Later Monday, crime scene officers moved to another house about a quarter of a mile away. Officers in full hazardous-materials suits went under the boarded-up house for about 15 minutes.
Police spokeswoman Kammie Mitchell said the department would not comment on the case.
A 6-year-old boy and a 28-year-old woman are missing and presumed dead, and authorities are focusing their investigation on a small polygamist sect in Durham.
Durham is the last known home address for 6-year-old Jadon Higganbothan. Authorities believe he and a woman were killed by members of the Black Hebrews group, but they haven't been able to find the bodies, nor have they been able to locate the suspects recently.
In court documents, investigators have said they have evidence implicating the boy's mother, Vania Sisk, and Peter Moses Jr., but no charges have been filed.
Sisk and Moses were thought to be living with members of a group called the Black Hebrews.