Car linked to kidnapping of autistic Florida boy found near Canadian border
An autistic Florida boy thought to have been snatched by his dad and grandmother may have already been taken to Canada, according to cops who found his belongings in a car dumped near the border.
Little Jorge “JoJo” Morales, 6, was kidnapped in Miami on Aug. 27 amid a bitter custody battle between his parents.
Before being taken, he had said that “his dad wanted to take him to live on a farm with windmills” — and warned about “bad people trying to take me away,” his mom, Yanet Leal Concepcion, has told Local 10 News.
Authorities are now searching the boy’s dad, Jorge Morales, 45, and paternal grandmother, Lilliam Pena Morales, 68, who are both wanted on a felony charge of custodial interference.
This week, the hunt moved more than 1,800 miles away to Littleton, Maine, after a border patrol team found a GMC Yukon abandoned close to the crossing into Canada, police told NECN.
Some of the boy’s personal items were found in the car, with other items tied to the case found nearby by a bear hunter, police told the outlet, without elaborating on what they were.
Police said it was unclear if they had made it across to Canada, where temperatures have this week plunged to dangerous 35-degree lows.
However, Royal Canadian Mounted Police teams have joined the search that side of the border.
“Until we find them, we really can’t make an association of what they were doing there or what their intentions are,” Maine State Police Lt. Brian Harris told the local outlet.
On Tuesday, the US Marshals also announced rewards of $5,000 each for the dad and grandmother.
“Please bring my child! Bring him back to us,” Concepcion told Local 10.