A police officer in Georgia was fired from his job earlier this week when allegations surfaced that he had concealed the death of a teenager who was reported missing six months ago.
On February 6, police were called to a wooded area along Highway 316 in Dacula, Georgia, about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta, after a person had spotted what appeared to be human remains. Officers were able to confirm that the remains were human, and a DNA test run by the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the remains belonged to Susana Morales, a 16-year-old girl who had been reported missing last July.
Though officials are still trying to determine a cause of death, police have already zeroed in on a suspect in connection with the case. Miles Bryant, a 22-year-old former member of the Doraville Police Department, has been arrested and charged with concealing the death of another and filing a false crime report. Though many outlets have reported that Byrant is being held without bond, jail records indicate that his bond has been set at $1,300. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
Though Bryant has been charged only with those two offenses, FOX 5 Atlanta has reported that the arrest warrant made even more disturbing allegations against him. According to the outlet, the affidavit claimed that Bryant may have committed rape and murder and that he may also have been the one who dumped Morales' naked body in the woods. Officials also said Bryant lied when he claimed that someone had broken into his vehicle and that his weapon had been stolen.
"This is a very tragic incident and not just for our community, but the law enforcement community as well," said Gwinnett County Police Officer Hideshi Valle.
At around 9:40 p.m. on July 26, Morales texted her mother to say she was on her way home, and an app on the girl's phone corroborated that the girl then began walking in the direction of her house, located in Norcross, Georgia, about 20 miles west of Dacula. However, police suspect that Morales then entered a vehicle, causing her phone to ping the area of Oak Loch Trace and Steve Reynolds Boulevard in Norcross between 10:21 p.m. and 10:26 p.m. Her phone then either died or was turned off, police said, and Morales was never seen again until her remains were discovered this week.
Thus far, police have not established any connection between Morales and Bryant, though Bryant's residence is located in Norcross near where Morales went missing. Morales' family stated that they do not believe she knew him. "We didn’t know what to expect, but an officer was probably the least on my mind of theories," said Jasmine, Susana's sister.
Jasmine added that her sister was laid to rest on Monday. "I want her to be remembered for her kind soul," Jasmine explained. "She was sweet and nice."
Jasmine had no such words for Bryant: "He doesn't know what's coming for him. I promise that everything comes to play, and we'll know everything soon. Everybody is going to get what they deserve at the end of the day. If it's not here, it'll be up there."
The Doraville Police Department issued a statement that confirmed Bryant's dismissal. "The City of Doraville and its Police Department are fully cooperating with the Gwinnett Police Department in its investigation of Mr. Bryant. Our prayers rest with the family and friends of Susana Morales and everyone else affected by this tragedy," the statement added.
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!