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Homestead mother overjoyed after learning missing son found safe in Canada

Homestead mother overjoyed after learning missing son found safe in Canada
Homestead mother overjoyed after learning missing son found safe in Canada 03:02

MIAMI – The Miami-Dade Police Department reports that 6-year-old, Jorge "Jojo" Morales, an autistic young boy from Homestead reportedly kidnapped by his non-custodial father, has been recovered in Canada. 

Jorge Gabriel Morales and Lilliam Pena Morales have been taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The boy was found in good health and unharmed.

Jojo's mother, Yanet Leal Concepcion, told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "I don't think I have ever been this happy. I mean since the birth of my son I don't think I have ever had a day like this. It's only going to be topped when I hug him. I have been on a high that I can't get off of me after 2 months of hell, I have no words. I was desperate when I called police."

"I was losing my mind. I know in most cases like this you don't have a happy ending. Now we have a happy ending and I have no words. I am so thankful to all the agencies that helped. It has been such a collective effort. I was so worried about my son who has autism."

She said she hoped to be reunited with her son tonight or Tuesday. She said authorities were trying to expedite his passport.

Leal Concepcion also shared new photos and videos of her son dancing and in happier moments. She also said she hopes to take JoJo on a Disney cruise, which was something that he had always wanted to do, 

CBS4 also spoke with Sgt. Jeff Martel, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He said the father and grandmother were arrested in Moncton in the province of New Brunswick, which is 182 miles east of the border with Maine. 

"Somebody recognized them in a Walmart store and called it in. We are grateful that the boy is safe and both suspects are in custody. This is a very good thing."

The F.B.I., FDLE, the U.S. Marshal's Office, Miami-Dade Police and Maine State Police all helped out in the investigation. 

Private investigator Joe Carrillo helped the mother at her request.

"We sent some investigators up to Maine and shook the trees," he said. "We knew the dad wanted to live off the grid and he was even shipping some camping gear up there. They went in improperly in to Canada. They went in through some very difficult field and difficult terrain. That's how they got in. They made it through a patch and swampy area that was very thick and they get through. We used investigators and K-9 people whose dogs were very good at picking up scents." 

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."

CBS4 first reported in September that the child went missing with his father and paternal grandmother.

According to investigators, JoJo was picked up by his paternal grandmother in accordance with a court time-sharing order. The father failed to return him, violating the court order, and the child's mother contacted the police to report the incident. 

Missing Person detectives were notified and began an investigation. A Missing Persons Alert was initiated, and investigators began to follow all leads in an attempt to locate the father and child. Later, an arrest warrant was issued for the father, Jorge Gabriel Morales.

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