Gwinnett County

Susana Morales murder: Opening statements, testimony begins in ex-officer’s trial

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Opening statements and testimony began Wednesday in the trial for a former Doraville police officer charged in a Gwinnett teen’s murder.

Miles Bryant is on trial for the murder of 16-year-old Susana Morales, who vanished in July 2022 after visiting a friend’s house.

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Maria Guadalupe Bran fought back tears as she testified in the trial of the ex-cop accused of kidnapping and killing her 16-year-old daughter Susanna Morales.

She said when her child vanished in July two years ago, she fought through sleepless nights and never gave up hope of finding her.

When asked how many times did she look for her daughter, Bran answered, “Every day, every night for seven months.”

Sadly, her daughter’s skeletal remains were found in February last year, in some woods twenty miles away.

“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want it to be true. I wanted to believe that she would be coming home,” Bran said.

Prosecutors say former Doraville police officer Miles Bryant abducted the teen after she left a friend’s apartment. They say he attempted to rape her, before killing her and dumping her naked body.


“He abused the laws. He used his badge and his position to satisfy his own sexual desire. He’s a cop who turned into a killer,” prosecutor Brandon Delfont said.

The prosecutor said a handgun and flashlight were found next to the teen’s body.

“They became immediately suspicious and found it was registered to the defendant, Miles Bryant,” Delfont said.

The day after the teen was reported missing, the ex-cop told superiors someone broke into his car and stole his gun and wallet.

The teen’s cause of death hasn’t been determined and defense lawyers say there is only circumstantial evidence supporting the prosecution’s claims that the former police officer committed murder.

The defense also said that Bryant plans to testify in his own defense.

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