Former cop convicted of kidnapping, killing 16-year-old who was walking home

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun11,2024

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (TCN) — A 23-year-old former police officer was sentenced to life in prison for the 2022 kidnapping and murder of a 16-year-old girl who was walking home.

The Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office announced June 13 that Miles Bryant was found guilty of malice murder, felony murder, kidnapping, and false report of a crime in connection with the death of Susana Morales. A judge subsequently sentenced him to life in prison without parole, plus 12 months.

Morales was last seen July 26, 2022, at approximately 6 p.m. when she left her home and walked over to a friend’s house. At around 9:40 p.m., Morales texted her mother and said she was coming home, but she had still not made it back by 10 p.m. Cellphone data showed her location until about 10:26 p.m., when her phone either died or got turned off.

On Feb. 6, 2023, someone called Gwinnett County Police and said they found what appeared to be human remains in a wooded area near the Barrow County line. Two days later, the remains were positively identified as Morales’.

About a week later, on Feb. 13, 2023, police arrested Miles Bryant, an officer with the Doraville Police Department. He was initially charged with concealing the death of another and false report of a crime. Later, he was charged with kidnapping and murder.

Gwinnett Police said Bryant and Morales did not appear to know each other prior to the killing. According to the district attorney’s office, detectives located Bryant’s gun near Morales’ body. He reported the gun stolen shortly after her death, but investigators were able to connect it to him.

Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gatson said following the conviction and sentencing, “We are profoundly sad for the Morales family. The despicable nature of the defendant’s acts is compounded by the fact that he was a police officer at the time. Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers are highly dedicated to serving the public good every day.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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