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Missing Florida boy, 6, found 2,000 miles away in Canada, father and grandmother arrested

A 6-year-old boy missing from Florida since August has been found safe nearly 2,000 miles away in Canada, and his father and paternal grandmother have been taken into custody, police said. 

Jorge “JoJo” Morales was last seen in the morning of Aug. 27 picked up from his mother’s residence in Miami-Dade County by his father and paternal grandmother, but was never returned home, “violating the court orders,” Miami-Dade police said.

A missing person alert was issued for the child along, which named and shared photos of his father and grandmother.

Jorge Morales.
Jorge Morales.Miami-Dade Police Dept.

On Sunday he was located safe in Moncton, New Brunswick, in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. 

A tipster reported seeing Jorge and his father at a Walmart in Moncton, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said

He was found in “good health and unharmed,” Miami-Dade police said

As a result the child’s father Jorge Gabriel Morales, 45, and grandmother Lilliam Pena Morales, 68, were arrested “without incident” and taken into custody by the RCMP, police said.

NBC News has reached out to police regarding whether the pair will be extradited and what charges they face.

The boy’s mother Yanet Leal Concepcion told NBC Miami she had been living a nightmare for the past two months and she received a call from the FBI sharing the good news her child was found safe.

Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena Morales.
Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena Morales.Miami-Dade Police Dept.

She explained that after her child didn’t come back home in August she went to her ex-husband’s place to pick him up and found it empty. 

“Everything was gone. Everything was gone from his apartment,” she said to the station. “His phones were off. His mom’s phone was off.”

Concepcion said she was able to speak with her son, who has autism according to NBC Miami.

“I am glad my son is not aware of what is going on because this is a trauma. I got to speak to him and I told him I was waiting for you to come back from vacation baby! He was just like yes momma,” she said.

The search for the boy involved the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and a slew of other agencies. 

Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said: “This is another example how local, state, federal and international law enforcement, along with the United States and State Attorney’s Office coming together for the safety of a child and will continue to work together to fight the greater evil.” 

CORRECTION (Oct. 31, 2022, 10:55 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated the relationship of Lilliam Pena Morales to Jorge “JoJo” Morales. She is his paternal grandmother, not his maternal grandmother.

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