Car found in Maine may be clue in case of Florida boy who vanished in August

Jorge ‘Jojo’ Morales last seen on Aug. 27

Jorge Morales, 6, and Jorge Morales, 45. (Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

MIAMI – An abandoned vehicle that turned up in Maine may provide a clue to the whereabouts of 6-year-old Jorge “Jojo” Morales, who is the subject of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Amber Alert, according to News 6 partner WPLG.

The FDLE reported Jorge, who is on the autism spectrum, vanished on Aug. 27, in Miami-Dade County. Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department, said early Saturday morning that they were “aware” of the vehicle in Maine.

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According to police, Border Patrol located the suspected vehicle on Foxcroft Road in Littleton, Maine.

“Investigators are trying to determine if the vehicle has any involvement in the case,” Zabaleta wrote in an e-mail.

Jorge’s mother, Yanet Leal Concepcion, told police officers through tears that she and her son’s father, Jorge Morales, had been involved in a custody battle.

According to detectives, the boy was last seen at his mother’s home in Miami.

As of early September, an arrest warrant was issued for 45-year-old Jorge Morales, the boy’s father who is now accused of illegally taking his son.

Detectives say the child, nicknamed “Jojo,” was taken by his father and his paternal grandmother, 68-year-old Lilliam Peña Morales.

Concepcion spoke with Local 10 News about the custody agreement between her and Jojo’s father.

“Jojo’s father is allowed to have him some days and only during the daytime,” she said.

When his mother went to pick him up the Saturday before his disappearance, she knew something was wrong.

Police showed up and so did the landlord, with a key to the apartment, but the unit was empty.

According to a private investigator, some of the belongings of the abducted child were found inside the vehicle found in Maine.

Investigators believe they may be in Maine or in Canada.

Police have not yet located Morales or the boy’s grandmother.

“Every time I close my eyes I see him and I just want him running toward me and to hug me and I’m afraid, I’m terrified, I’m really broken,” Concepcion said in August.

Detectives asked anyone with information about the case to call Miami-Dade County Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477 or FDLE at 1-888-356-4774.

Border Patrol located the suspected vehicle on Foxcroft Rd in Littleton, Maine. (Maine State Police Department) (Maine State Police Department)

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About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!