The mother was worried about his safety even before the incident as his father was planning a relocation and invited her to accompany him.
A Miami airport witnessed an emotional reunion on Tuesday when young Jorge "Jojo" Morales ran into his mother's arms after what seemed like forever. The 6-year-old boy, who has autism, was missing for two months before somebody spotted him at a Walmart in New Brunswick, Canada, and alerted the authorities. The emotional moment Jojo reunited with his mother, Yanet Leal Concepcion, at Miami International Airport this week was caught on video by CBS Miami. In the clip, the youngster is seen breaking into a wide smile as soon as he spots his mother at the airport. "Hi, mommy," Jojo is heard shouting out as he runs into Concepcion's arms. She immediately grabs him in a tight hug while telling him: "I missed you so much."
Speaking to Local 10, Concepcion said: "I'm just so happy because my son is okay, I feared the worst. Every mother fears the worst and I'm just... I can't, my body is like leaving my soul. I'm just so happy, I can't stop crying."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Jojo's father, Jorge Gabriel Morales, and grandmother, Lilliam Pena Morales, in relation to the boy's disappearance after the youngster was spotted at a Walmart in New Brunswick, about 182 miles east of Maine. The boy went missing in late August after being picked up by his grandmother for a court-ordered visit since his parents had shared custody. When Jojo's father did not return the boy to his mother, an Amber Alert was issued and detectives discovered that Morales had been preparing a relocation for a year.
REUNITED: Check out this sweet moment when a 6-year-old boy was reunited with his mother in south Florida. Police said he was kidnapped by his father and grandmother over two months ago and finally found in Canada. https://t.co/k0812sFhc5 pic.twitter.com/gqv7tz9rCx— azfamily 3TV CBS 5 (@azfamily) November 2, 2022
Joe Carrillo, a private investigator, found that Morales had secured a cabin in Canada and desired to live "off the grid." Concepcion reportedly had concerns about her son's safety even before the kidnapping incident occurred. She previously revealed that she became afraid for her son's safety when Morales informed her that they were "going somewhere where there are windmills" and invited her to accompany him.
After a 2006 Ford Expedition driven by Morales was discovered in Maine in late September, police suspected that he was in Maine or eastern Canada. The FBI later revealed security footage from a nearby Walgreens, confirming that Jojo was in Maine at some time, 182 miles from where he was eventually discovered, reports New York Post.
According to Concepcion, the child is unable to grasp what happened to him. She told 7News, "He asked me where I have been because he doesn't know, he's very unaware of what's going on. Thankfully, it's a blessing in disguise that he is living with autism because he thought he was on vacation, and I told him the same."
Concepcion also shared that she was extremely anxious and worried about her son for the two months that he was missing and faced "constant sadness... very little sleep, having trouble eating, just constantly praying, constantly thinking that something bad was going to happen to him." However, she is grateful to everyone who helped her son return home and especially the person who called in the tip. "We are forever grateful [for the person who called the police]. It takes courage to say something, and I know it does, and I hope they know that, thanks to that person," she said.
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez said in a statement, "This is another example of how local, state, federal, and international law enforcement, along with the United States and State Attorney’s Office coming together for the safety of a child and will continue to work together to fight the greater evil."