Emon David Harper

Above: Emon circa, 1988


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: January 1, 1988

Missing From: Micanopy, Alachua County, Florida

Classification: Endangered Missing

Date Of Birth: April 1, 1986

Age: 1-3 years old

Height and Weight: 4’0″ and 50 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: African American Male, Black hair, Brown eyes, Emon might use the name “Moses Young”

NCMEC Number: 1293721


Details of Disappearance

Emon was last seen in Micanopy, Florida at some point between 1988 and 1989. He has never been seen or heard from since. At the time of his disappearance, he was a member of the House of Prayer for All People located on 138th Avenue off Wacahoota Road north of Micanopy.

From what investigators have gathered, the House of Prayer was a religious cult-type of group that operated under a system of collectivism and Old Testament style beliefs. These included wearing full length robes, wearing head coverings, and committing to a kosher diet. The organization began at some point in the early 1980s and was independently run by a woman identified as Anna Elizabeth Young. She was known to members as “Mother Anna.”

It began as a place for people who committed wrongdoings and wanted to change their lives for the better. The House of Prayer was generally a place for second chances, financial stability and security, and even salvation. A little over 24 people joined the religious group and remained part of it for over a decade after its creation. Anna’s daughter, Joy Fluker, recalled how people began idolizing her and saw Anna as the “voice of god.”

Families which included parents and children all came under Anna’s wing. Anyone who decided to join the group were given new names and had to turn over all of their savings. The children who joined were placed in Anna’s religious boarding school. Joy said the power that Anna possessed became corrupted and she became cruel, abusive and gave punishments she saw fit for sinful acts committed by members. She would whip, starve, and cage her members.

Those who were a part of the cult wanted to be pure and were willing to do anything that Anna said would make them so. Even if it meant taking beatings from her or being denied food and being forced to eat cow manure. Each beating that a member received included 33 lashes with a whip, the same amount that Jesus Christ received before being crucified.

Based off of statements from Joy, Anna appeared to have her own way of believing in the Bible and the teachings of Jesus. She would take those and put her own twist on it. The members were all held under a right iron grip by Anna and they were never allowed to leave, even for medical treatment. She controlled her members through fear after being a seemingly innocent, nice woman.

Investigators believe Anna is responsible for the murders and abuse of multiple children who were members of the House of Prayer. It’s believed that Anna’s abusive behavior has led to the untimely deaths of two very young children in the cult.

In 1983, two year old Katonya Jackson was a member of the House of Prayer along with her mother, Lea Vera Jackson, and her older brother, John Neal. According to multiple members, Anna believed the child was possessed. Katonya was subjected to cruel punishments as a result of the superstition. Her brother recalls that she was forced to run around in circles and she was beaten if she ever stopped.

According to reports, Katonya had a seizure disorder and was required to take medication for it, but Anna withheld the medication from her. One day in 1983, Katonya was heard crying and screaming because Anna was beating her. After some time, the crying stopped and everyone rushed inside the room to find Katonya’s limp, battered body. She was taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida where she later died.

At the time, Katonya’s death was classified as natural but “preventable.” It was noted that her body showed signs of abuse such as bruising but no charges were filed in her death. Young was said to be with the child at the hospital before her death and later buried her body in an unmarked grave.

In 1984, another child identified as two year old Marcos Antonio Cruz was also a member of the cult along with his mother, Sabrina Hamburg. They had moved onto the property in 1983. Soon afterwards, Sabrina was separated from her son and wasn’t able to see him. She recalled how her little son was beaten, starved, punished and forced to stay in a small closet for days at a time.

Sabrina stated that Anna later decided she would marry fellow cult member, Thomas Pough. He was known as “Brother Thomas” at the time. However, Anna felt that the child couldn’t be the biological child of Sabrina and Thomas (Marcos is half Puerto Rican). As a result, Anna ordered Sabrina to abandon the boy on the streets in Puerto Rico.

Sabrina did as she was told and she took her son on a plane to Puerto Rico in December 1984. She last saw him on December 15th 1984 when she abandoned him on a bench outside of a Catholic Church, possibly located in the Santurce district in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He hasn’t been seen since and is considered a missing child. Sabrina continues to search for him today.

In 1985, John Neal, the older brother of Katonya Jackson, was taken to the hospital after he contracted a skin infection. John was treated by the same doctor who treated his sister and was able to notice scars all over his body and part of his ear missing. This prompted a child abuse investigation of the cults home but they found no obvious signs of foul play or abuse. The house appeared to be clean and stable at the time.

Investigators have revealed that the House of Prayer was designed to conceal. There were compartments in the farm house and main house which is where John was hidden when the investigation was occurring. Since investigators couldn’t find any signs of abuse or see John Neal, they closed the investigation without any charges being filed and the religious cult once again fell under legal radar.

Cult members recall another incident involving a man named O.D Pough who was known as “Elder Adam.” He was one of the earliest members to join the House of Prayer in the early 1980s. There was a woman who was part of the cult that he was thought to be married to. Although it’s unknown if the marriage was legally finalized, in the eyes of Anna, they were married. She ordered the couple to not have sex and said he had a “lust demon” in him.

Many members of the cult, however, felt compelled to admit their wrongdoings to Anna and admitted that the couple had sex even though she ordered them not too. Pough was forced to undergo castration as punishment. He received a horrific infection from it and was nearly killed by it.

In 1992, twelve year old Nikki Nickelson was sent to live at the House of Prayer. Her parents, Arthur and Melvinee Nickelson, were religious conservatives who lived in South Carolina at the time. According to court documents, Nikki wore clothing which covered her head and she was teased for it in her local school. She also complained of kids using profanity and acting in ways that she considered inconsistent with her religious upbringing.

Nikki and her parents met Anna at a religious gathering. After speaking and interacting with Young, her parents decided to send Nikki to the House of Prayer so she could be schooled by her. Young mentioned how she was teaching her own daughter who was around the same age as Nikki since she had the same concerns as the Nickelsons did.

Sometime after joining the cult, Nikki was forced to bathe in a bath which contained soap, laundry detergent, and bleach. A male member of the cult held Nikki down on the water as Young scrubbed her. The girl was being punished by her for bad hygiene. She was only allowed out of the tub when another member in the bathroom pointed out that the skin on her feet was falling off.

Nikki suffered second degree burns as a result of the bath which Young treated with herbal creams. A day or two after the incident, her parents who often made payments to Young and visited the House of Prayer, discovered that their daughter had been injured as a result of Anna’s punishment. Nikki had to learn how to walk again after the incident.

After the 1992 incident, Anna was charged and convicted of child abuse but she fled with her daughter, Joy Fluker, before the case could be resolved and she could be sentenced . A warrant for her arrest was issued and she was put on the FBIs Most Wanted list. She was apprehended in 2001 after investigators found her hiding in an attic of a relatives home in Chicago, Illinois. She was sentenced to serve six months in prison.

Since Young went on the run, the cult dissolved with her absence in 1992. After being released from prison, Young kept a low profile and it would be 16 years before she would be arrested again.

In 2016, Anna’s daughter, Joy Fluker, said that she was overstepping her role as a grandmother and criticizing her role as a mother and how she raised her children. After this, Joy blurted out “How are you going to tell me how to raise my kids when you killed two children?” She said that she noticed her mother had a look on her face, one she hasn’t seen in years. The look was one Anna had when they were at the House of Prayer.

The argument prompted Joy to contact the Alachua County Sheriffs Office and tell them about her memories while living at the House of Prayer and the horrific events that took place there. She told them that at some point during the late 1980s, her mother murdered a young boy whom she remembered being called “Moses.” Investigators were able to identify the boy as Emon who hasn’t been seen since about 1988.

According to what investigators gathered, Emon was born to a teenage mother in Chicago, Illinois before he came to live at the House of Prayer. Joy said the thought of a little baby coming to the property brought everyone great joy. Her mother renamed the boy “Moses” and was excited to raise him. Joy said her mother initially believed the boy would be the child she and her husband, Jonah Young, never had.

However, Jonah passed away in 1988 and Joy recalls how her mother changed towards the young boy. Fellow members recall how Anna would starve, beat, and lock the child in closets. One member, Sharon Pough, said she was sure the boys thumb was going to fall off his body. Joy remembers giving the child water to drink and how his lips were so crusted over due to malnutrition.

Soon afterwards, Sharon found Emon dead in a laundry hamper inside of a closet. According to multiple members, Anna ordered the child to be taken outside where they did “the burning” and to burn his remains in a straw hamper. While some members recall her saying she gave the boy away to be raised by monks, it’s presumed Emon died in 1988 and that his body was disposed of to cover it up.

Investigators searched the former property after Emon’s death was brought to light but despite searches with ground penetrating radar and cadaver dogs, his body was never found. An official missing persons report was filed for him under his legal name on June 13th 2017. After speaking with other members, investigators found that almost all of them contend Anna also caused the death of Katonya Jackson in 1983. While her death was the result of untreated epilepsy, investigators decided to re-investigate the case after hearing about Emon Harpers death.

Joy has also revealed that her mother might’ve been responsible for another child’s death which occurred years before the establishment of the House of Prayer for All People. On September 1st 1973, Anna Young who was known as Anna Davidson at the time reported her stepdaughter, Catherine Barbara Davidson, as missing from Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan. She was never seen again afterwards.

Joy stated she was told years later that Catherine had never gone to the park that day and that the story was a lie. Catherine was already dead by the time she was reported missing. According to the recollection of an older sister, Catherine was beaten by Anna before being bound and gagged. She was placed inside of a closet in the family’s residence in Chicago, Illinois. The other children in the house heard scratching noises coming from the closet all night long until they stopped.

When the older sister looked inside of the closet, she saw Catherine lying in a fetal position, dead. Joy believes her mother turned to religion in order to play penance for Catherine’s death. Both Anna and her husband, Jonah Young, who was originally known as Robert Davidson turned to religion after Catherine’s disappearance and moved to Florida afterwards. Her body has not been found but her missing persons case was reopened following Young’s arrest for the death of Emon.

In November of 2017, Anna was arrested and charged with Emon’s murder. She was charged with first degree premeditated murder in the case. Sometime afterwards, Anna was also charged with manslaughter in the death of Katonya Jackson. In February of 2021, Anna pleaded no contest to second degree murder in Emon’s death and manslaughter in Katonya’s death. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder charge and 15 years for the manslaughter charge.

Anna served 33 days of her sentence before dying in prison. Joy believes that her mothers abusive behavior was the result of an untreated mental illness. Investigators were unable to charge her for her alleged involvement in Catherine’s disappearance or Marcos’s case. Although his body hasn’t been found, foul play is suspected in Emon’s disappearance.


Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Alachua County Sheriffs Office 352-955-1818


Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Charley Project

NamUs

Florida Headlines News Radio

Florida Headlines News Radio

First Coast News Jacksonville

People News

Katonya Jackson – Disability Day of Mourning

Crime Online

The Florida Times Union