Federal and Miami-Dade law enforcement hope an empty SUV in Maine and a pile of money can help find 6-year-old Jorge “Jo-Jo” Morales, his father Jorge Morales and Jo-Jo’s paternal grandmother, Lilliam Peña Morales, last seen in South Miami-Dade.
Jorge and Lilliam Morales never brought “Jo-Jo” back to his mother, Yanet Concepcion, after an Aug. 27 visit and an Amber Alert was issued on Sept. 2. Both adult Moraleses are wanted for custodial interference. Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals posted a combined $10,000 reward, $5,000 for each, for information leading to the arrest of Lilliam Morales and Jorge Morales.
Lilliam Morales also has gone by Lilliam Boyssen, Lilliam Boissen and Lilliam Peña. The 68-year-old has brown hair, brown eyes, stands about 5-foot-4 and weighs about 175 pounds.
Her 45-year-old son, Jorge Morales, also has brown eyes and hair, and is about 6-feet tall and weighs about 185 pounds.
“Jo-Jo” Morales is about 3-feet tall and weighs 60 pounds.
Interviewed on Nancy Grace’s Crime Stories podcast Thursday, Jo-Jo’s mother, Yanet Concepcion, says her son is “on the higher end of the autism spectrum.”
Concepcion said Jo-Jo doesn’t have conversations in the manner of most 6-year-olds, but can express himself and repeat things he’s heard. Jo-Jo walks on the tips of his toes, she said, and, like many autistic kids, flaps his arms when excited or angry.
Concepcion and Morales had been in a custody dispute when Morales, his mother and Jo-Jo disappeared that Saturday — and Morales wasn’t supposed to keep their son overnight. The first report from Miami-Dade police asked people to look for a silver 2006 Ford Explorer, but that wasn’t the SUV that U.S. Border Patrol found abandoned in Littleton, Maine, about 1,900 miles from South Miami-Dade.
A report by WPLG-Channel 10 shows a black or navy blue GMC Yukon. The U.S. Marshals, in announcing the reward, said the SUV had “personal items believed to belong to the child.”
From South Miami-Dade to off the grid?
Concepcion and the private investigator she hired to help find their son believe her ex-husband has been planning this abduction for a year, setting himself up to live “off the grid.”
Last Oct. 28, Jorge Morales and Lilliam Morales sold the three-bedroom, two-bathroom Homestead home they bought a year earlier, getting a $100,000 profit and a renter’s freedom. One database says Jorge Morales was a licensed registered nurse and one of his past addresses is 1916 NW 84th Ave. in Doral. That’s the same address on the Florida Department of Health profile for registered nurse Jorge Gabriel Morales, whose license has been delinquent since July 31.
Anyone who knows anything about the whereabouts of Jo-Jo, Jorge Morales or Lilliam Morales should contact Crime Stoppers of Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys either online or at 305-471-8477 (TIPS); the U.S. Marshals Service at 866-865-8477 or online; or the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.