An Atlanta-area police officer has been fired and arrested on suspicion of concealing and lying about the death of a 16-year-old girl whose remains were found last week, around six months after her family reported her missing.
Miles Bryant, a 22-year-old Doraville, Georgia, police officer, was arrested on preliminary charges of falsely reporting a crime and concealing the death of another in connection with the death of Susana Morales, the Gwinnett County Police Department said in a news release Monday.
Morales was Missing Since July
Morales had been missing since the night of July 26, 2022, when she texted her mother that she was walking home from a nearby friend's house. She never made it home, according to police.
The teen's cell phone and video footage showed Morales walking toward her home that night, police said, citing, in part, a location application. Investigators believe she may have gotten into a vehicle, Gwinnett County police said in late January.
Between 10:21 p.m. and 10:26 p.m., her phone indicated that she was in the area of Oak Loch Trace and Steve Reynolds Boulevard. Her phone pinged that location until it either died or was turned off. Morales never made it home.
The remains of Morales were found February 6 near a highway in eastern Gwinnett County, after a passerby reported seeing what looked like human remains in the woods, police said. Investigators still are trying to determine the teen's manner and cause of death, the Gwinnett police release said.
Bryant Lived Close to Where Morales was Last Seen
In the warrant application, officials allege that Bryant lives close to where Morales was last reported on Windscape Village Lane and dumped her naked body in the woods.
The warrant also says police suspect Bryant of rape, murder, and other felonies, though the former officer has not been charged with any of those offenses at this time. In the warrant, police also accuse Bryant of falsely reporting that his vehicle had been broken into and that his gun was stolen.
Bryant is being held Monday in county jail without opportunity for bond, Gwinnett County police said. Details about what precisely he is accused of doing and what led investigators to him weren't immediately available.
Bryant was fired from the Doraville Police Department Monday after officials were made aware of the charges against him, a city official said. He was with the department for nearly two years, having started in May 2021, the official said.
At this time, investigators don't know what led to the teen's death and have not said if Morales and Bryant knew each other. The warrant has their relationship checked off as "none." A preliminary hearing for the case will take place in two to four weeks time. The investigation into her death continues.