A 15-year-old girl is back home with her family after being abducted during a Dallas Mavericks home game last month, with eight people now under arrest for allegedly trafficking the teenager.
The girl was found on April 18 in an Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City after having been kidnapped on April 8. She and her father had been watching the Mavericks’ April 8 contest against the Portland Trail Blazers.
When she failed to return, her father notified both American Airlines Arena security as well as Dallas police. The family was able to track down the teen with the help of the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative (TXCTI).
After the TXCTI found nude images of the girl on a prostitution website, Oklahoma City police then raided the hotel on April 18. Police entered the room the girl was in and found a convicted sex offender.
While happy that the girl was returned, the family expressed outrage over what it said was the lack of action by both arena security and the Dallas Police Department.
In the latter case, Dallas police cited Texas Family Code laws for not investigating the case after being notified by the girl’s family. That law treats missing juveniles as runaways “unless there are circumstances which appear as involuntary such as a kidnapping or abduction.”
Responding to the criticism, Dallas police issued a statement regarding its efforts in the case.
“A report was generated by Dallas Police and Dallas Police assisted the North Richland Hills Police Department (lead agency as that was where the teen resided) and a bulletin about the missing teen was created and went out to the department on April 11, 2022,” the statement read.
The family also attacked the Extended Stay America for lax security procedures that allowed the sex offender to rent rooms with a fake name and ID.
The eight individuals arrested are facing a number of different charges, including human trafficking, distribution of child pornography and rape.