DUSON, La. (KLFY) - Sex trafficking is a disturbing crime that reaches across the world.
It hit home when a 16-year old from University City, Missouri was found a Duson motel with a 27-year-old man.
Authorities believe the teen was a victim of human trafficking.
The teen was found at the super 8 motel off interstate 10 in Duson.
"He was taken from St. Louis, across the country, to California, North Carolina, and they ended up here, in Duson Louisiana,” said Lt. James Hodges with Broussard Police
Duson Police say the unidentified 16-year-old black victim, was with a 27-year-old black male who is also a truck driver... they met on Tinder.
The boy had been reported missing since July 21 by his mother in University City, Missouri.
“They ended up here in Duson Louisiana because the person who had taken the juvenile was tired and needed to get some rest. at that time the juvenile found fit to go down to the front counter and ask that they call 9-1-1 for police assistance,” Hodges added.
When officers arrived, Duson police say the boy was traumatized but was transported to a local hospital, to be treated for what appeared to be human bites
He should be reunited with his family by now.
“His family seems to really care about him, they're really concerned about his well-being, and he’s been in contact with them several times throughout the morning.”
The 27-year-old alleged trafficker was questioned by Duson police Thursday evening but was later released, because they couldn't confirm whether or not the human trafficking crime occurred in Louisiana
"If there is human trafficking that involves commercial sexual activity coupled with someone who is under the age of 21, we are looking at 15 to 50 years. That's very significant," explains local attorney Kevin Stockstill.
According to the national human trafficking hotline, in 2017, 8,759 cases of human trafficking were reported to the hotline, representing over 10,000 individual victims, almost 5,000 potential traffickers. This was a 13 percent increase in cases compared to 2016.
If any crime was committed by the 27-year-old in Duson, police say they would take action immediately.
“At that time we would then secure a warrant for the individual on whatever applicable charges we do have, whether that be for the sexual assault or whatever happened,” Hodges added.
News 10 was told by the Duson police department that the 27-year-old was scheduled to leave Duson at 10 Friday night.
But according to the clerk at the motel earlier this afternoon, she told me that he left the motel earlier that morning.
Again, no charges were filed by the Duson police department because they still do not believe that the crime occurred in Louisiana.
The boy was scheduled to leave Duson at noon today, to begin his return to his parents in University City, Missouri.
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