This story is every parent’s worst nightmare — made worse by the fact that it appears police were of little to no help.
On April 8, a 15-year-old girl went to a Dallas Mavericks game with her father, only to disappear after going to the bathroom during halftime.
Her terrified father sought the help of law enforcement, who ultimately appear to have given him the brush off before a local anti-trafficking organization finally helped him locate the girl, who had been abducted, taken to an Oklahoma City hotel room, and sold for sex.
Faithwire has the horrifying story and explained that according to the family’s attorney Zeke Fortenberry, he and his clients hold police in both Dallas and North Richland Hills where the family resides accountable for failing to locate the girl sooner.
They are also implicating the Mavericks organization and the Oklahoma City hotel where the now-apprehended traffickers had been operating.
“This girl was being sexually assaulted in a hotel room multiple nights,” he said. “Any time she could have been rescued from that sooner would have been better.”
“When a 40-something-year-old man walks in with a 15-year-old girl and rents multiple hotel rooms, and then there is traffic coming in and out of those rooms, those are red flags,” he said of the hotel proprietor.
Meanwhile, they say that the man who abducted the girl was known to the Mavericks organization and used a fake ticket to obtain entry to the game, where he located and abducted his victim.
“Our intent is to put [these organizations] on notice that we’re pursuing claims against them for their negligence and other causes of action,” Fortenberry wrote in a letter to the entities in question.
The girl’s father initially notified Dallas police, which were on site at the American Airlines Center providing security for the game, but they directed him to police in North Richland Hills because that is where he and his daughter live.
However, when he contacted local law enforcement, they said they were unable to help, because the girl had gone missing in Dallas.
Three days later, the police departments coordinated to put out a bulletin, an effort which Fortenberry noted seemed inadequate.
In the end, the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative was able to locate the girl using facial recognition technology, and, no doubt to the unthinkable horror of her parents, discovered a nude photo of her online, advertising her for sex.
Police in Oklahoma City were notified at this point that the girl was at a local hotel, “being trafficked for commercial sex purposes.”
They ultimately apprehended Kenneth Nelson, a convicted sex offender, who had rented several hotel rooms using a fake ID. Karen Gonzales was also arrested and charged, having been identified as the person who took the illicit photographs of the girl.
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