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

Jorge "JoJo" Morales, who was last seen in August in Florida, was found Sunday in Canada after a tipster reported seeing the boy with his father at a Walmart in Moncton.

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 his paternal grandmother have been taken into custody, police said. 

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

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

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

He was found safe Sunday in Moncton, New Brunswick, 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

The child's father, Jorge Gabriel Morales, 45, and grandmother Lilliam Pena Morales, 68, were arrested "without incident" and taken into custody, police said.

NBC News asked police whether the pair will be extradited and what charges they face.

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

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

She said that after Jorge 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 told 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 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 Lilliam Pena Morales’ relationship to Jorge “JoJo” Morales. She is his paternal grandmother, not his maternal grandmother.