Homestead mother overjoyed after learning kidnapped son found safe in Canada

Author: Trish Christakis / CBS Miami
6-year-old Jorge “Jojo” Morales, who was found safe in Canada. Credit: CBS Miami

Yanet Leal said she fell to the floor when she got the call from the FBI on Sunday afternoon.

It was the best outcome a mother could ask for: her child was found safe and unharmed and would be on his way back to her soon.

For the first time in two months, Leal was able to speak to her 6-year-old son, Jorge “Jojo” Morales, something weeks ago she never thought she’d have the chance to do again.

“I haven’t heard his little voice in two months,” she said.

Miami-Dade police said that Jojo was found in Canada with his father Jorge Gabriel Morales and his paternal grandmother Lilliam Pena Morales.

According to investigators, Jojo was picked up by his paternal grandmother back in August in accordance with a court-ordered time-sharing order.

But when the boy’s father failed to bring him back, Leal called the police and the search was on.

“I thought my son was going to die. It was very hard to sleep, it was very hard to eat. All I could think about was him and what he was doing, if he was okay, and if he was asking for his mom,” said Leal.

The boy and his father were spotted on security video in Maine before they made their way to Canada where Leal said he was spotted inside a Walmart.

“Somebody saw something they got the attention of the police and they caught him,” she said.

The boy’s father and grandmother were taken into custody by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They are facing charges for the interference of custody and concealing a minor contrary to a court order.

Police said the boy was found in good health and unharmed, something his mother is extremely grateful for.

“This has been the worst nightmare for a mom, and I’m just blessed that I can share a happy ending to it. I know a lot of moms don’t get a happy ending too,” said Leal.

She said the minute he comes home she already has their first trip planned, something he’s been wanting to do for years.

“We are taking a Disney cruise, he’s been wanting to take a Disney cruise, but we couldn’t do that vacation because his dad wouldn’t allow it, so now we’re allowed, and we are off,” said Leal.

Authorities are making plans to return him to his mother.

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