1 Fort Lauderdale
News & Reviews
Canadian police and Walmart recognized the people who helped reunite once-missing boy JoJo Morales with his mother in Miami.
Yanet Leal Concepcion prayed for two months for her son to come home after he was kidnapped by his father. That moment was made possible thanks to the swift action by Walmart customers and employees in Canada.
“Two of our customers came to me and they were like, I have seen a man and a boy, they were on the news and they were involved in a kidnapping case, and we are not sure, but I think it’s the same,” said Ajay Gabani, a Walmart Canada employee.
Gabani then approached assistant store manager Michele Lewis, who said she didn’t have a doubt the man and boy were Jorge and JoJo Morales from Miami.
“I had seen it on the news, the day before, Saturday,” Lewis said.
Michele then called the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They responded in minutes and took Jorge Morales into custody. Police later found the boy’s paternal grandmother Lilliam Pena Morales about 40 minutes away at a cabin.
“I just knew it was the right thing to do. I have children of my own. I am a grandmother,” Lewis said. “And actually my youngest granddaughter is JoJo’s age and I just could not imagine not ever seeing her again.”
Gabani says the boy and his father were in the electronics section of the store. He recalls Jorge identified himself as Michael and also noticed a few red flags as he tried to purchase a SIM card and cellphone.
“They had no ID. No bank card. No internet banking, nothing,” Gabani said.
While Jorge Morales and his mother remain in jail in Miami-Dade awaiting court hearings, JoJo is back with his mom.
Last week in Canada, police honored the Walmart employees for their actions and awarded them with certificates of appreciation.
In a statement, Walmart thanked their employees and said, “Our stores are filled with ordinary people doing extraordinary things for our customers and the community.”
“I have seen one or two customers and they tell me you are the guy on TV, you helped the mother. It is so overwhelming. So I already got the reward I wanted,” Gabani said.