5-year-old shot by polygamist sect leader, search warrant says

Informant says 2 killed in N.C. home

The Gazette, Colorado/March 3, 2011

A 5-year-old boy whose mother belonged to a polygamist sect that relocated briefly to Teller County was killed by the mother’s boyfriend last year in Durham, N.C., an informant told Durham police.

The informant also told Durham police that the boy’s mother, former Colorado Springs resident Vania Sisk, 25, shot and killed another member of the sect during an attempted escape a few weeks ago, according to a Teller County Sheriff’s Office search warrant issued Feb. 25.

The Teller County Sheriff’s Office was asked by North Carolina authorities to help find Sisk and her son, Jadon Higganbothan. Sheriff’s deputies visited a rented home at 205 E. Ridge Drive near Woodland Park several times last week.

On Feb. 23, Teller County social services took 10 children living in the home into protective custody at the request of North Carolina authorities. Nine adults also were living in the home, but Sisk and her son were not at the home when deputies visited.

Deputies found Sisk that day at the Woodland Park Wal-Mart, where she had used a debit card.

Her son, however, apparently never made the trip to Colorado when the sect fled North Carolina after police began investigating "suspicious activity" in mid-February at the crowded Durham home shared by members of a church known as Black Hebrews, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer reported.

Sisk had lived in the house for the past 2-1/2 years with her polygamist boyfriend Pete Moses and multiple other women and children, Sisk’s aunt told the News & Observer.

Sisk told Durham police that she left Jadon, who was born in Colorado Springs in 2006 and whose father lives in Georgia, with an acquaintance in North Carolina on Feb. 20 and has not seen him since, the newspaper reported.

The Teller County search warrant described Jadon’s chilling death at Moses’ hands:

The informant told Durham police that an "extremely angry" Moses took the young boy downstairs while holding a gun. The informant said she heard loud music, then a gunshot.

Moses then wrapped the boy’s body in a plastic bag, packed him in a suitcase and stored him in the attic. Moses removed the body from the house when it began to smell.

Peter Lucas Moses Jr., 27, is free on $1,500 bond after being arrested Feb. 18 on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, firing a gun within city limits and penning a fraudulent check, the News & Observer reported.

It was not immediately known if a warrant has been issued for his arrest in connection with Jadon’s death.

The informant also told Durham police that a woman, Antoinetta McKoy, was shot by Sisk about three weeks ago, according to the search warrant.

McKoy got into an argument with Moses over lost car keys and ran from the sect’s house, the search warrant states. She attempted to flag down a vehicle to get away, but was forced back into the house by two female member of the group, who beat her unconscious, according to the warrant.

Sisk killed McKoy with a 9 mm handgun after being ordered to shoot her by Moses, the informant told Durham police.

Teller County sheriff’s deputies learned of the informant’s statements on Feb. 25 - two days after they spoke to Sisk at the Wal-Mart.

When detectives met Sisk, she said that her three children were at the house near Woodland Park. When detectives visited the house, however, they did not find Jadon, the warrant said.

The group, including Sisk and Moses, reportedly left the area Sunday after renting a U-Haul trailer in Colorado Springs, Teller County investigators said.

Raleigh News & Observer staff writer Jesse James DeConto contributed to this report.

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