On Tuesday, passengers at Miami International Airport witnessed a touching moment of a family reunion as a small boy named Jorge “Jojo” Morales jumped into his mother’s arms after what seemed like an eternity. The autistic youngster, age 6, went lost for two months when somebody discovered him in a Walmart in New Brunswick, Canada, and notified the authorities. The boy had been gone for the previous two months.
CBS Miami was able to capture on video the heartfelt moment when Jojo Leal Concepcion was reunited with his mother Yanet Leal Concepcion at Miami International Airport this week. In the video, the child can be seen beaming broadly as soon as he recognizes his mother at the airport. This takes place at the beginning of the clip.
Jojo is heard yelling out, “Hi, mommy!” as he runs into Concepcion’s arms. “I love you, mommy!” The moment she sees him, she rushes up to give him a bear hug while telling him, “I missed you so much.” Concepcion, when speaking with Local 10, stated: “I had hoped that my son would be okay, but I was afraid that the worst would have happened. Every mother dreads the worst-case scenario, but I just can’t bring myself to worry about it since leaving my body is like giving up my soul. I just can’t hold back the tears of joy because I’m so thrilled.”
After a young boy named Jojo was seen at a Walmart in New Brunswick, which is located approximately 290 kilometers east of Maine, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police detained the boy’s father, Jorge Gabriel Morales, as well as the boy’s grandmother, Lilliam Pena Morales, in connection with the disappearance of the boy.
Late in August, the child was reported missing after being picked up by his grandmother for a visit that was mandated by the court because his parents shared joint custody. An Amber Alert was issued after the boy’s father failed to return him to his mother, and subsequent investigation revealed that Morales had been making preparations to move for at least a year before the incident.
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A private investigator by the name of Joe Carrillo discovered that Morales had purchased a cabin in Canada and had the intention of living “off the grid.” It was alleged that Concepcion had fears about her son’s safety even before the episode involving his kidnapping took place. She had earlier disclosed that she got concerned for her son’s well-being after Morales told her that they were “heading somewhere where there are windmills” and wanted her to accompany him on the trip. Morales had invited her to go with him.
Late in September, a 2006 Ford Expedition believed to have been driven by Morales was found in Maine. As a result, the police began to think that he was either in Maine or eastern Canada. According to the New York Post, the FBI then made public security footage obtained from a nearby Walgreens, which proved that Jojo had spent some time in the state of Maine, which is approximately 182 miles away from the location where he was eventually found.
The young boy, as far as Concepcion can tell, is unable to comprehend what has taken place for him. She stated it to 7News, “Because he is so clueless about what is going on, he was curious about my whereabouts and asked me where I had been. He believed he was on vacation the entire time he was autistic, and I reassured him that this was the case. Thankfully, having autism turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Concepcion also revealed that during the two months that her son was missing, she suffered from “constant sadness” and experienced “very little sleep,” “difficulty eating,” “just constantly praying,” and “constantly thinking that something bad was going to happen to him.” During this time, she was extremely anxious and worried about her son.
Despite this, she wishes to express her appreciation to everyone who assisted in her son’s safe return, particularly the individual who provided the tip. “[To the individual who contacted the authorities], we will be eternally thankful. It takes bravery to say something, and I am aware of this fact; thus, I am grateful to the one who has the fortitude to do so “— I quote her.
The Director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, Freddy Ramirez, issued a statement in which he said, “This is another example of how local, state, federal, and international law enforcement, along with the United States and State Attorney’s Office coming together for the safety of a child and will continue to work together to fight the greater evil.”
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