Gwinnett PD give update on missing teens and procedure when a person is reported missing

press release from gwinnett county police

(Lawrenceville. Ga, February 10, 2023) Gwinnett Police stands firm in its pursuit of safety for our community and wants to educate our citizens on questions they may have when reporting a missing person, a missing juvenile, and a runway juvenile.

There have been many different and nonfactual stories in our community and on social media regarding the deaths of Susana Morales (a 16-year-old female from Norcross) and Rodrigo Mayen Floriano (a 17-year-old male from Norcross). Both cases involved the tragic death of a teen from the Norcross area, but otherwise, these cases are not related. Rodrigio’s death was ruled an overdose by the Gwinnett Medical Examiners Office, and at this time, Susana’s cause of death is unknown.

Our detectives have continuously worked on Susana Morales’s case since we received it. We have kept in constant contact with Susana’s family and told them what was happening in the case. On the day Susana was reported missing, our officers conducted a canvass at several locations where people said she might be but did not find any leads.

Over the course of last summer and fall, detectives collected phone data, interviewed multiple people who may have had information, and spoke to officials at her school and the school resource officer. In addition, detectives disseminated Susana’s photos and description to all law enforcement agencies in the southeastern United States. As a result, we responded to multiple legitimate and hoax sightings, but none were determined to be Susana. Additionally, our detectives debunked multiple false ransom hoaxes from unscrupulous individuals attempting to get money from Susana’s family.

At times, there were no leads in the case. At those times, we requested the public’s help in providing information via our social media and local media. CrimeStoppers offered a reward for information about Susana at our request.

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The tragic discovery of Susana’s remains this week was not the outcome anyone wanted in this case. Finding out what happened is one of our top priorities. Because this is an active case, we cannot always release the exact details of the work we are doing, but that work is ongoing and will continue until this case is resolved.

Gwinnett Police uniform officers take a missing person report on the scene when they meet with the person making the report (a family member, friend, or guardian) that has called, stating someone is missing. Reports for missing persons are forwarded to the Criminal Investigations Section for follow-up.

A person, regardless of age, may be reported missing immediately or at any time. A juvenile who has been listed missing and has not returned home in 24 hours will be reported for administrative purposes as a runway through the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC). A runaway is a status offense where a minor can be criminally charged when they leave with intentions to run away. Over 40 juvenile missing reports are received monthly by Gwinnett PD, and most minors return home on their own.

However, all missing and runaway juveniles are investigated and treated the same. No biases are established when the juvenile is missing or is a runaway, and the only goal is to confirm the safety and well-being of the missing individual. Different measurable facts are gathered throughout the investigation to determine whether there is suspicious activity involved and whether or not there appears to be criminal activity.

Family members should contact law enforcement the moment they believe their loved one has gone missing and provide as much information as possible to law enforcement. Accurate and timely information is critical to determine whether or not the missing person should be considered critical or otherwise in danger due to age, mental capacity, disability, or another compounding factor. Every case is different and has to be evaluated by its individual circumstances.

A Levi’s Call, also called an Amber Alert in some states, is used only in cases where there is a confirmed abduction. Levi’s Calls are requested through the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and it is their discretion to approve or deny the request.

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