Dad who ‘disappeared’ after 12-year-old’s emaciated, maggot-covered 54-pound body found in his home with 2 broken arms arrested after months on the run

4 months ago 491

Romuan J. Moye (Milwaukee Police), Jacarie Robinson, and the home where the boy's body was discovered (WTVJ screenshots)

Romuan J. Moye (Milwaukee Police), Jacarie Robinson, and the home where the boy’s body was discovered (WTVJ screenshots)

The monthslong search for one of the most wanted men in Wisconsin came to an end this week when authorities apprehended a 45-year-old father accused of beating and starving his 12-year-old son to death.

Romuan J. Moye was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide, three counts of chronic neglect of a child, and one count of failure to report the death of a child in the horrific slaying of young Jacarie Robinson, court documents reviewed by Law&Crime show.

Of the three chronic neglect charges, the first — neglect resulting in death — is the result of Moye’s alleged nutritional neglect of his son. The second and third chronic neglect charges — neglect resulting in bodily harm, and neglect in which a specified harm did not occur — stem from Moye allegedly failing to seek medical attention for his child’s multiple bone fractures and the allegedly unsanitary condition of the home where he and the victim lived.

Moye’s arrest came just over four months after the victim’s brother found Jacarie’s dead body in an “advanced state of decomposition” inside of Moye’s home.

In an interview with Milwaukee CBS affiliate WDJT, authorities said that a seemingly insignificant tip from an “outside source” helped them locate Moye for questioning after months of searching.

“What we thought was maybe a really small investigative lead for us, so something that we thought was maybe really small, ended up pointing us in the right direction,” Thomas Kotnik of the Milwaukee Police Department’s Special Investigation Fugitive Apprehension Division, told the station. “There’s a lot of people that had a lot of questions over the last couple of months about what we were doing, how come he hasn’t been found yet; so, I think this is a step in the right direction — makes everyone feel a bit better.”

Det. Mike Driscoll told the station that after Jacarie’s body was discovered, Moye essentially “disappeared.”

“He left the house that night and had not been seen since,” he said. “This is a dad who wouldn’t give his child food, for discipline. It’s incredibly sad.”

As previously reported by Law&Crime, officers with the City of Milwaukee Police Department at about 6:15 p.m. on Oct. 10 responded to a “dead on entry” call at an apartment complex located in the 4100 block of N. Elmhurst Road. The caller told the emergency dispatcher that there was a deceased 12-year-old child located inside the residence, per a probable cause affidavit.

Upon arriving at the scene, first responders located the caller who identified himself as Moye’s 22-year-old son — identified in court documents as “JM.”

JM told police his three younger brothers — ages 17, 15, and 12 — typically all lived in the apartment with Moye, but noted that for the last few weeks, the older children had both been staying with their mother while the youngest, “JR,” remained under Moye’s care.

According to police documents, JM said he’d visited his father a few days prior and noticed he was acting “abnormal” and “repeatedly taking deep breaths,” but told police he never entered the apartment. With his father continuing to act strange, JM told police he returned to the apartment again on Oct. 10 to check on Moye’s well-being and let himself in when Moye failed to answer the door.

“JM went into the residence and looked around but nobody was home. JM went back into the residence to look for some belongings that were important to the Defendant,” the affidavit states. “As JM entered the living room, JM noticed a foot protruding from covers on the living room floor. JM immediately yelled out because JM knew it was JR’s body. JM pulled the cover back and observed JR’s face in an advanced state of decomposition with maggots present.”

“I don’t even know how to f—— feel right now,” a “lost” and “confused” JM told police after finding his younger brother “in a state of decay.”

JM explained to police that Moye a few years ago claimed to have been diagnosed with cancer and claimed that it had progressed in the last few months, saying he “does not have long to live.” This made JM want to spend more time with his father, but Moye was being “evasive” of late.

Moye had allegedly been keeping the victim “away from the family” for the last few months, claiming the boy had been “acting really bad,” JM told police. The last time JM recalled seeing his little brother alive was during the boy’s birthday on Aug. 19 and he recalled JR looking “extremely skinny” and thinking “Damn, what the f— is JR eating?”

JM also described Moye as a “harsh punisher” but claimed he “did not use physical punishment often.” Moye had allegedly told the victim’s mother that the victim had been acting out and “stealing food” of late.

The victim’s 15-year-old sister told investigators that her father “punishes” the victim for stealing food.

“The Defendant will pop JR or whoop JR,” police wrote in the affidavit, citing their interview with the child.

Homicide detectives took over the scene, saying that upon entering Moye’s home “there was an overwhelming smell of mold, feces, and decay.”

“The kitchen had a large pile of garbage located in the center of the floor. The kitchen table was covered in garbage. The kitchen sink was covered in what appeared to be mold,” police wrote. “There was molded food on the counters of the kitchen. The refrigerator appeared to be functional but was filled with molded food. The bathroom was filled with garbage and the toilet was filled with human feces. The vanity sink and shower were covered in mold.”

Detectives said the victim’s decaying body appeared to be “extremely malnourished” and noted he had “maggots covering his face and mouth.”

A subsequent autopsy determined that the victim had a recently fractured right humerus, noting that the break was “very large” and “in an irregular pattern for a fracture.” The left humerus also appeared to be fractured along with two ribs that were in the process of healing when the victim died.

The 12-year-old’s body weighed only 54 pounds at the time of the autopsy.

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