Invisible Children

9 children of Peter Lucas Moses Jr.

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

peter lucas moses
Nine children ages 8 and under were abused by their father, Peter Lucas Moses Jr., and his three wives Vania Rae Sisk (second from left), Lavada Quinzetta Harris (far right), and Larhonda Renee Smith (second from right). Four of the children were Sisk’s and five were Harris’. The children were homeschooled and home-churched in the cult-like Black Hebrews church.

In October 2010, Moses murdered Sisk’s 4-year-old son Jadon Higganbothan—the only one of the children who was not biologically his. In December 2010, Moses ordered Sisk to murder Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, another of his wives, because she could not have children. In February 2011, another of Moses’ wives (who was not publicly identified) escaped and reported the murders to the police. She also reported witnessing “horrific” abuse of the children. Moses and his family immediately fled the state to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where Teller County social services found them and removed the children February 23.

Moses and his wives then moved back to Durham, North Carolina, where he was arrested on unrelated charges until the police could find evidence of the murders. They finally located Higganbothan’s and McKoy’s remains in June 2011 and charged Moses with first-degree murder. His wives were also charged. Moses pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty; as a result, he was not tried, so the specific nature of the abuse of the other children was never made public. However, neighbors reported that the children were “rarely seen” and, according to police, they were required to call their father “Lord” and were afraid of him, fearing that he would do to them “what he did to Jadon”.

Moses was sentenced to life in prison. Sisk was sentenced to 30 years, Smith to 24, and Harris to 12.

Date: February 23, 2011
Durham, North Carolina

Documents: Date:
Woman sought in Teller County, missing son tied to Black Hebrews 03-01-2011
Durham woman found, son still missing 03-01-2011
5-year-old shot by polygamist sect leader, search warrant says 03-03-2011
Man with ties to missing Durham boy, woman a no-show in court 03-23-2011
Durham Co. issues arrest warrant for Peter Moses, Jr. 03-24-2011
Pair linked to missing Durham boy, woman arrested 04-12-2011
Cult leader linked to missing boy appears in court 05-09-2011
Remains found at Durham home believed to be missing woman 06-08-2011
Some charges dropped against suspect in Durham slayings 07-06-2011
Bond hearings delayed for suspects in Durham slayings 07-07-2011
Cult-like group behaviors come out in court 07-08-2011
Peter Lucas Moses, North Carolina Man, Pleads Guilty In Deaths Of Woman And Boy He Thought Was Gay 06-11-2012
Head of polygamous cult pleads guilty to murder of 4-year-old boy he bizarrely believed was gay 06-12-2012
Peter Moses Gets Two Life Sentences For Killing 4-Year-Old ‘Gay’ Boy, Woman 07-05-2013
Leader of Durham sect receives two life sentences for murder 07-05-2013
Cult leader gets two life sentences for the murders of a little boy and one of his wives 07-05-2013