Say What Now? Atlanta Cop Charged with Kidnapping and Murder of 16-Year-Old Girl

16-year-old Atlanta-area resident Susana Morales was reported missing by her family on July 27, 2022.

via: NBC News

A former Georgia police officer has been charged with felony murder and kidnapping in the death of 16-year-old Susana Morales after authorities revealed Wednesday that a gun he reported missing was found near her skeletal remains.

The officer, Miles Bryant, 22, was previously charged with concealing a death and false report of a crime in connection with the disappearance of the teen, whose skeletal remains were found Feb. 6, the Gwinnett County Police Department said. He was a police officer in the Atlanta suburb of Doraville, and was fired in light of the charges.

Gwinnett police Chief J.D. McClure on Wednesday announced Bryant’s charges were upgraded to felony murder and kidnapping.

Authorities honed in on Bryant in the case after finding “a critical piece of evidence” — a handgun — “in close proximity” to where Susana’s body was found during a grid search of a wooded area near Highway 316 between Drowning Creek and the Barrow County line.

It was determined that the personal gun had been reported missing the morning of July 27 by Bryant, which made him a person of interest in the case.

McClure shared a breakdown of the timeline of her disappearance.

Susana was last seen July 26 and reported missing the following morning by her family.

The night she disappeared, Susana had left her home in Norcross at 6 p.m. and walked a short distance to the Sterling Glen Apartments where she met with a friend for about four hours. She headed home at about 10 p.m.

“We know that between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Susana had an interaction with an individual,” who McClure said to be Bryant, and “ultimately was not seen or heard from again.”

Police said they believe Susana died in that time frame from when she had the interaction with Bryant up to 2 a.m. the following day July 27.

McClure said that it’s not known if Susana and Bryant knew each other or were familiar with each other, but he did live in the Sterling Glen Apartments complex that she had visited that day and served as a courtesy officer there.

He said it’s not “definitively” known how Susana died, noting there’s “no indication” that she was shot. He said it’s possible that she was raped.

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