A missing 14-year-old girl was rescued from three men suspected of sex trafficking her over nearly two weeks in Gwinnett County in Georgia.
Lawrenceville Police said they were alerted to the presence of a "distraught" child at the Walmart on Collins Hill Road on Wednesday evening, according to WSB-TV.
Police said they discovered the girl had been reported missing from Cobb County, and they arrested three men who were with her.
They believe that the men forced her into prostitution at an apartment on Maddox Street.
The three suspects were booked into jail without bond. The girl has been returned to Cobb County to receive emotional and physical assistance over her horrific ordeal.
Experts say that human traffickers often manipulate their victims to protect the perpetrators when police officers become suspicious.
“They don’t cry out for help,” said Camila Zolfaghari, executive director at Street Grace, a group that helps human trafficking victims.
“Usually, they try to protect their trafficker because their traffickers told them, ‘Hey, if you tell them what’s going on, you’re going to get in trouble,’” she explained.
In a similar case from 2022, a 15-year-old went missing when she went to the bathroom at a Dallas Mavericks basketball game at the American Airlines Center. Police were unable to find a trace of the girl until the parents discovered photographs of the girl in nude online advertisements selling sex.
Police were able to rescue the girl from a room at an Extended Stay America hotel more than 200 miles away. The parents were outraged at the initial lack of interest from the police, and they filed a lawsuit against the department as well as the stadium center.
Here's more about that human trafficking case:
Missing North Texas teen found being sold for sex in Oklahoma Citywww.youtube.com
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