The remails of Susana Morales, a student at Meadowcreek High School in Norcross, were found on Monday, February 6th, near the Gwinnett-Barrow county line this week after being missing for seven months.
Morales texted her mom on July 26th around 10 pm. to let her know she was on the way home. Video surveillance footage and a location app on the 16-year-old phone showed her walking on Singleton Road in the direction of her home. A couple of minutes later, her cellphone updated her location to Oak Loch Trace near Steve Reynolds. Officials believe she got into a car where her phone either died or turned off.
Police first reported the teen as a runaway. Maria Bran, Susana’s mother, told Latinx media outlet Telemundo that her daughter didn’t have personal belongings with her the day she went missing. Bran didn’t believe her daughter ran away of her own will.
(Translated from Spanish to English) “She didn’t leave voluntarily. We were okay. She was happy,” Bran told Telemundo.
Bran claimed the police didn’t take her daughter’s case seriously until last month. She told Telemundo that there was a lack of communication from the police department.
“I feel like they discriminate against us for being Hispanic,” she told Telemundo.
The Gwinnett Police Department released a press release on Thursday in response to criticism they’ve received from the community regarding their investigation of the teen’s case.
“Our detectives have continuously worked on Susana Morales’s case since we received it. We have kept in constant contact with Susana’s family and told them what was happening in the case,” they said. The tragic discovery of Susana’s remains this week was not the outcome anyone wanted in this case. Finding out what happened is one of our top priorities.”
Bran has asked for privacy since the loss of her daughter. But, in an interview with Prensa Atlanta, she said the community had helped a lot with sharing her daughter’s story.
“For now, I’m asking authorities to keep helping me until we get justice,” Bran said.