On Feb. 6, officers with the Gwinnett County Police responded to a call after someone claimed they saw what appeared to be human remains in the forest, WAGA reported.
The Gwinnett County Medical Examiners’ Office conducted tests on the remains and determined through DNA and dental records that they belonged to the missing girl, Susana Morales.
Jennifer Richter of the Gwinnett County Police told WAGA, “It does look like she has been there for some period of time.”
Family members told police they hadn’t seen or heard from Morales since July 26, 2022. That evening, Morales texted her mom around 9:40 p.m. and let her know she was on her way home, police said, but she never arrived.
When checking Morales’ cell phone, investigators were able to access an app that showed the teenager was walking in the direction of her home between 10:07 p.m. and 10:21 p.m.. Police, however, now believe she had actually gotten into a vehicle.
Between 10:21 p.m. and 10:26 p.m., the girl's cell phone showed she was in the area of Oak Loch Trace and Steve Reynolds Boulevard. The phone pinged that location until it either died or was turned off.
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Police are currently still trying to determine a cause of death and other details in the case.
"Right now, we're really looking at this as a death investigation," Richter said, according to WAGA. "We haven't ruled out homicide."
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