Former Georgia officer charged with concealing the death of missing 16-year-old girl
Remains of naked teen missing since July were found dumped in the woods
By Tanasia Kenney
The Charlotte Observer
DORAVILLE, Ga. — A Georgia police officer is accused of concealing the death of a 16-year-old girl who went missing on her way home last summer, authorities said.
Miles Bryant, 22, an officer with the Doraville Police Department, was arrested days after Susana Morales’ remains were found in the woods near Highway 316, Gwinnett County police announced Monday, Feb. 13.
He was charged with concealing the death of another and false report of a crime in connection with the teen’s death, according to a news release.
Additional information wasn’t immediately available, and it’s unclear how or if Bryant and Morales knew each other.
Doraville police learned of Bryant’s arrest on Feb. 13 and said the department is cooperating with the Gwinnett County Police Department’s investigation into the “now former police officer.”
“Our prayers rest with the family and friends of Susana Morales and everyone else affected by this tragedy,” the department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
Missing teen was ‘dumped’ in woods, warrant says
Morales had been reported missing since July 26. She texted her mother around 9:40 p.m. saying she was headed home but never arrived.
On Feb. 6, someone spotted what appeared to be human remains in the woods near a creek and called 911. The county medical examiner’s office tested the remains and later identified them as Morales’s.
“The tragic discovery of Susana’s remains this week was not the outcome anyone wanted in this case,” police said in a statement last week. “Finding out what happened is one of our top priorities.”
Authorities said Bryant lived near the area where Morales was reported missing and alleged that he “dumped her naked body in the woods,” WAGA and WXIA reported, citing a warrant application. The warrant also said Bryant is suspected of rape, murder and other felonies, though he hasn’t been charged with those crimes, WXIA reported.
Further, police said the ex-officer filed a false report on July 27 claiming his gun was stolen in a car break-in at an apartment complex, according to WSB-TV.
Death investigation continues
Before she vanished, authorities said Morales’s cellphone and surveillance video showed her walking in the direction of her home in Norcross. Police believe she got into a vehicle at some point.
“Morales’s cell phone continued to show being in the area of Oak Loch Trace until the cell phone died or was turned off,” authorities said.
The cause and manner of Morales’s death remain under investigation, police said.
Bryant remained in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond as of Feb. 14, online records show.
Doraville is about 15 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta.