Human remains found in suburban Atlanta identified as girl, 16, missing since July

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Authorities in suburban Atlanta on Wednesday identified skeletal human remains found two days ago as a 16-year-old girl who had been missing since July.

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According to the Gwinnett County Police Department, the remains of Susana Morales, of Norcross, were found in a creek in Gwinnett County on Monday evening, WSB-TV reported. A passerby discovered Morales’ remains near Drowning Creek outside Dacula, police spokesperson Sgt. Jennifer Richter said.

Morales had been missing since July 26, 2022, police said. The teen texted her mother that night at 9:40, saying that she was headed home. However, she had not returned to her home by 10 p.m., police said.

A location application showed that Morales was walking toward her home between 10:07 and 10:21 p.m. Police believe that at some point, she may have gotten into a car. Her cell phone location remained in the same area after 10:26 p.m. and then went dead or was turned off, WSB reported.

Morales’ remains were found more than 20 miles from where she was tracked on July 26, police said.

Police have not said if they believe foul play is involved, according to WSB. Investigators are still working to determine how Morales died.

Richter said the case was considered a death investigation but did not rule out homicide.

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