Justina Morales

Endangered Missing

Missing From: Brooklyn, New York

Missing Since: November 1995

Age: 8 -- Hair Color: Brown -- Eye Color: Brown

Justina Morales was last seen in November 1995. Justina's mother told neighbors that Justina had gone to live with her father at that time. There was no sign of the child at the home of the father, who lived out of town. The bureau of child welfare had an active case file on Justina before her disappearance.

In February 1997, a relative of Justina's informed the police that she had been missing and possibly killed. Her mother's boyfriend, Luis Santiago, was charged in her death. At Santiago's trial in 1997, it was brought to light that he had physically abused Justina for several years both physically and sexually, and that he had beaten her to death on New Year's Eve 1995 after she had refused to take a bath. Mr. Santiago has admitted to beating Justina's head with his fist and a metal pipe. Two years after Justina's murder, Santiago was sentenced to 6 to 19 years in prison. Justina's mother was sentenced to five years on probation for her part.

The police have not found Justina's body, which they believe was heavily wrapped in plastic and disposed of in a trash can in one of two vacant lots in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Police believe Justina's body was carted away with the refuse when the lot was last cleaned.

Doe Network

Charley Project