Missing 6-year-old Jojo Morales found safely by authorities in Canada

‘I’ve never been this happy’: Boy’s mother hopes they can be reunited as soon as Monday

A mother is overcome with emotion after her son is found after being kidnapped by his father two months ago

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A child from South Florida that had been missing since late August has been found.

The Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed on Sunday that 6-year-old Jorge “Jojo” Morales was recovered in Canada.

Jojo was unharmed and in good health, authorities said.

“I’m just so happy because my son is okay, I feared the worst,” said Yanet Leal Concepcion, Jojo’s mother. “Every mother fears the worst and I’m just.. I can’t my body is like leaving my soul. I’m just so happy I can’t stop crying.”

For more than two months, Concepcion has been living a nightmare.

Police had been searching for the boy since they said he was kidnapped on Aug. 27 by his father and Concepcion’s ex-husband, Jorge Morales, 45, and paternal grandmother, Lilliam Pena Morales, 68. Both were wanted on a felony charge of custodial interference.

“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,” Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said in a statement.

Authorities confirmed that Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena Morales were taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Jorge Morales and his mother, Lilliam Pena Morales. (U.S. Marshals Service)

Investigators believed the three had crossed the border into Canada and for weeks, the trail went cold.

That is until Sunday, when someone in Moncton, New Brunswick, a Canadian city on the very east end of the province, spotted them in a Walmart.

“Somebody called and somebody said something and I’m just so grateful for that person because it just took that,” said Concepcion. “Spreading the news, spreading the word and people wanted to help.”

Several hours later she finally got to speak to her little boy.

“All I said was, ‘Hey baby! I missed you!’ and he says ‘It’s mommy, it’s mommy!’”

For the most part, Jojo, who has autism, has been relatively unaware of what he’s been through in the last two months.

“I’ve never been this happy,” said Concepcion. “This is only going to be topped by the moment I hug him. Nothing compares to this feeling, I’ve never had this feeling this happiness, I am just so blessed right now I don’t even know what to say.”

She hopes that moment will come as soon as Monday.

About the Authors:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.