Authorities said Friday afternoon that 39-year-old Jamie Moore was arrested and is accused of physical abuse and neglect.
Her teen daughter and 3-year-old son have been removed from her custody.
Essex County officials announced Thursday night that the teen was safely located in Harlem after she had apparently been hiding in New York after running away from home.
A good Samaritan on 111th Street in Harlem had apparently noticed her, even though she had cut off her hair. NYPD officers were able to talk to her and determine her identity.
The prosecutor said that she did not want to return home. He added that she had stayed in various places in New Jersey, before ending up at a shelter in Brooklyn.
It's still not clear how she was able to get from East Orange to Brooklyn and then back to Harlem. Authorities say she was very resourceful.
The teen had not been in school since it started in September and while there were no cases investigated by the state, there were concerns about her living arrangements.
"It appears she was more comfortable where she was," Stephens said.
Her mother, Jamie Moore, posted on their GoFundMe site a new message pushing for changes to be made to the Amber Alert protocols, "No mother should go through what I have these last few weeks. My family and I want to ensure certain legal channels are altered to better aid families in preventing possible tragedies. This includes certain law enforcement protocols like the Amber Alert. Please help us make a difference."
The GoFundMe page had raised nearly $10,000.
At the time of her disappearance, her mother was adamant that the teen was not a runaway.
"My daughter did not run away, an Amber Alert, right away, they should have put it in, but because it didn't fit the criteria -- what the h*ll is the criteria?" Moore said. "For us to never see her again?" However, prosecutors say the teen did in fact run away.
The teenager had gone missing nearly a month ago. She was last seen outside Poppie's Deli on Central Avenue in East Orange.
A reward total of up to $20,000 had been offered by the Essex County Crime Stoppers program to help find the teen. It has not yet been claimed, the prosecutor said.
The Essex County Sheriff thanked the public and the media for their cooperation in helping to find the teen.
"Clearly, this was a great result based an awful lot on what you folks were able to do for us, we appreciate it very much," Sheriff Armando Fontoura said.
The case had consumed this community. So many people searched, donated and emotionally supported a mother desperate for answers.
Now neighbors have more questions and some feel misled. But there's also relief after so many feared the worst.
"I was scared that we might have been walking past her, like, you know, abducted by someone and hurt and in one these abandoned buildings and we're walking past her every day," neighbor Sharif Abdullah said. "I'm just hoping that whatever is going on in the household that caused her to leave, I hope they can resolve that."
ALSO READ | Man shot, killed by police after traffic stop on Belt Parkway
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New Jersey news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip