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16-year-old Kidnapped and Killed by Georgia Cop who Dumped her Naked Body in Woods; Cop Convicted by Jury

16-year-old Kidnapped and Killed by Georgia Cop who Dumped her Naked Body in Woods; Cop Convicted by Jury

A former Georgia police officer has been found guilty of the abduction and murder of a 16-year-old girl who disappeared while walking back to her house from a friend’s place.

A former police officer in Doraville, a suburb north of Atlanta, has been convicted of multiple charges in connection with the death of Susana Morales, who went missing in 2022. Her body was discovered in the woods several months later. Bryant was acquitted of attempted rape charges.

Morales was first reported missing in July 2022 by her mother. According to an incident report obtained by HuffPost, her mother stated that Morales had not returned home from a friend’s house nearby.

According to a news release from the Gwinnett County Police Department, the family stated that they received the last message from Morales at 9:40 p.m. on July 26, 2022, where she informed her mother that she was heading home.

According to her mother, Morales failed to answer any calls after receiving the message. However, her sister managed to track the location of her phone using an app until 10:30 p.m. that day.

The discovery of Morales’ body occurred on Feb. 6, 2023, after the Gwinnett County police received a report from a passerby. The individual had stumbled upon skeletal remains while walking in a wooded area approximately 20 miles east of Morales’ residence, as stated in an incident report.

Dr. Carol Terry, Gwinnett County’s chief medical examiner, stated that the cause of death could not be determined due to the body’s decomposition as reported by HuffPost.

The Gwinnett County police reported that Bryant’s firearm was discovered in close proximity to Morales’ remains. During the evening she was reported missing, the former officer from the Doraville Police Department filed a report with Gwinnett County police stating that his wallet and handgun had been stolen from his truck, as per a police incident report.

In February 2023, he was arrested on charges related to concealing the death of another individual and making a false report of a crime in connection with Morales’ death.

As per an arrest warrant mentioned by Atlanta News First, the police stated that Bryant resided near the victim during the time of the incident and disposed of her unclothed body in a wooded area.

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During the trial, Avyonne Smyre, Bryant’s ex-girlfriend, testified that she and Bryant had a disagreement on the night Morales went missing. According to WXIA, she mentioned observing some questionable scratches on his truck during her testimony.

Ever since her disappearance was first reported, Morales’ family has been fervently advocating for justice. They firmly believe that the police overlooked their initial concerns about her safety and dismissed her as a runaway.

“Throughout the entire investigation, the police disregarded our concerns and claimed that she had run away, despite our certainty that she would never do such a thing,” Morales’ sister wrote in a now-deleted online petition. “Why did she leave when she was so close to home?”

According to reports, Gwinnett Police Detective Angela Carter testified on Tuesday that Bryant’s cellphone data indicated his presence in the area where Morales’ body was found on the night she disappeared.

Carter also mentioned that Bryant had performed various online searches regarding Morales’ disappearance, including one query about the decomposition process of a body.

“He took his power, and he took his badge, and he used that to murder. He is a cop turned killer,” prosecuting attorney Brandon Delfunt said in the court in his closing argument Wednesday.

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