Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena Morales arrested for taking Jojo Morales
A 6-year-old boy from Florida who was allegedly kidnapped in late August has been found safe in Canada after being missing for more than two months. Jorge “Jojo” Morales was found “in good health and unharmed” on Sunday while Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena MoralesThe child’s 45-year-old father and 65-year-old paternal grandmother, respectively, were both taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Moncton, New Brunswick, according to a press release from the Miami-Dade Police Department.
The investigation into Jojo’s whereabouts was conducted by the FBI, the United States Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the State Attorney’s Office of Miami-Dade and the Maine State Police Department, among other agencies.
Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department Freddy Ramirez he said locating Jojo and bringing him home safely was the result of multiple agencies working together.
“This is another example of how local, state, federal and international law enforcement, along with the United States and State Attorney’s Offices, come together for the safety of a child and continue to work together to fight the greatest evil,” he said. he said.
According to a press release by RCMP New Brunswick, Jojo’s father was taken into custody at a business located on Plaza Boulevard while his grandmother was arrested on Village-Des-Cormier Road in Saint-Paul. Both were taken into custody without incident and charged with felony custodial interference, police said.
Canadian authorities discovered Jojo’s whereabouts after an informant who had recently seen news coverage about the missing child spotted her and her father shopping at a Walmart in Moncton, the National Center for Missing Children and exploited (NCMEC) said in a liberation.
Jojo, who lives with autism, was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, gray shorts, and black shoes on August 27, 2022 at approximately 9:15 a.m. when his father and grandmother took him from his mother’s residence, the police said. A judge in the boy’s hometown of Homestead issued a court-ordered time-sharing agreement between the two parents, according to a report from CBS News.
Police said the child was never returned, however, in violation of that order and a Missing Persons Alert was issued.
The child’s mother, Yanet Leal Concepciontold CBS News that she had begun to expect the worst and was happy to have her son back.
“[I’m] just so happy rite now. I can’t even think that I went through such a hard time,” he told CBS, which published his reaction as written. “I thought my son was going to die. It was very difficult to sleep. It was very difficult to eat. All I could think about was him. what was he doing If it was good. If he had asked his mother.”
Conception he said NBC News that his initial fears were greatly exacerbated when he went to Jojo’s father’s house to look for his son and found the residence practically empty.
“Everything was gone. Everything was gone from his apartment,” he said. “His phones were off. His mother’s phone was off.”
Concepcion said she plans to take her son on a Disney cruise — something she said the boy wanted to do for a long time, but couldn’t because his father wouldn’t let him.
[images via USMS and MDPD]
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