In connection with the death of Susana Morales, former police officer Miles Bryant has been charged with felony murder and kidnapping.
The 16-year-old’s skeletal remains were discovered on February 6th, and it was later revealed that a gun Bryant had reported missing was found near the site.
Bryant was a police officer in Doraville, a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. He was initially charged with concealing the girl’s death and falsely reporting a crime before his charges were upgraded. He has since been fired from his job as a police officer.
Gwinnett County Police Chief J.D. McClure announced the upgraded charges on Wednesday, citing the discovery of a handgun in close proximity to Morales’ remains as a critical piece of evidence that led investigators to Bryant. The officer had reported the gun missing the morning of July 27th, making him a person of interest in the case.
According to McClure, Susana was last seen on July 26th and reported missing the next morning by her family. She had left her home in Norcross at 6 p.m. and met a friend at the Sterling Glen Apartments, where she stayed for four hours before heading home at around 10 p.m. Police believe that she died sometime between the time she interacted with Bryant and 2 a.m. on July 27th.
Bryant lived in the Sterling Glen Apartments complex where Susana had visited, and he served as a courtesy officer there, but it is unclear whether the two knew each other or were familiar with each other.
While the police have not determined how Susana died, McClure noted that there was no indication that she was shot. However, it is possible that she was raped.
The investigation is still ongoing, and the police are yet to determine a motive behind the murder.