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Father of 12-year-old Wisconsin boy found dead and decomposing at home arrested after 4-month manhunt

A Wisconsin man was arrested Sunday over four months after his 12-year-old son’s body was found malnourished and decomposing in their home, according to court documents.

Romuan Jovaes Moye, 45, was on the run since October when he was first charged in connection with Jacarie Robinson’s death.

Milwaukee police officers responded to a home at 4160 N. Elmhurst Road on Oct. 10, 2023 for a “dead on entry complaint,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Wisconsin Circuit Court.

Jacarie Robinson.via TMJ4

The 12-year-old’s body was found wrapped in a blanket on the living room floor and appeared malnourished and emaciated, per the complaint. A torn white t-shirt covered his head, and there were maggots “covering his face and mouth.” A few drops of dried blood were near his feet.

A day after he was found, an assistant medical examiner conducted an autopsy of Jacarie’s body, which had fractures in both arms and in his right ribs. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office said Jacarie could have disappeared as far back as Labor Day, NBC affiliate WTMJ reported.

The house Jacarie was found in had an overwhelming smell of “mold, feces, and decay,” according to a detective who investigated the scene. Garbage and mold could be found around the house, and moldy food was found in the refrigerator.

One of Jacarie’s brothers, who found the 12-year-old’s body after entering the home, told police that Moye had been acting strangely about four days before during a visit, per court records. Moye had kept the child away from family for months, he said.

Jacarie’s brother reported last seeing him alive in August 2023 on the child’s birthday. He recalled Jacarie looking “extremely skinny,” he told detectives.

Moye had three of his children living with him at the time, including Jacarie, but sent two of them to stay with their mother for two weeks so he could “take care of something,” one of the children told a detective. All three children share the same mother and father.

The children told detectives that Moye would punish Jacarie for stealing food and that he “was not eating and sleeping a lot,” court records state. Jacarie was not allowed to go to his mother’s house with his siblings because he was grounded.

The children’s mother said she had not seen her 12-year-old son in three years, but that she’d spoken to him on the phone around five weeks before, according to the complaint. She became concerned for Jacarie while her other two children were staying with her, and threatened to call the police on Moye because he wouldn’t let anyone see him.

Moye had told his family that he was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and did not have long to live. Moye’s mother, who doubted her son’s diagnosis, urged him to turn himself into police after learning that Jacarie was dead.

“You may as well turn yourself in, you are going to prison for life,” Moye’s mother said to him in a text conversation.

“Your son is dying, he won’t be around for that,” Moye responded, according to the complaint.

Moye is now being held at the Milwaukee County Jail on $500,000 bail. He was 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, per court records.

The court has also ordered that Moye has no contact with any of his surviving children. He’s due to appear in court Monday.

An attorney for Moye did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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