A 15-year-old Texas girl who went missing in late April has been found, and investigators believe she may have been sex trafficked while she was missing.
Brendetta McDonald, the girl’s mother, told WFAA that her daughter left their apartment on April 27 after being scolded and never returned.
“I figured she was just going to go get herself together,” McDonald said at the time. “I never thought she would disappear. This isn’t her.”
On Saturday morning, McDonald got a call from Arlington police as she was preparing for a rally that afternoon to support efforts to find her daughter.
“I received the call around six,” McDonald said. “They said, ‘We have your daughter.'”
Arlington police said the girl walked into a police substation just before 6 a.m. Saturday and identified herself.
The teen’s hair was died and she had lost weight, McDonald said.
“She said she was forced into a lot of things she should not have had to endure,” McDonald said.
Victim’s advocate Tonya Stafford confirmed that sexual assault and abuse allegations are being investigated, although Dallas police would not confirm that they were investigating human trafficking.
When McDonald first reported her daughter missing, Dallas police told her she was considered a runaway because she left willingly. Two weeks later, they upgraded the case to “critical missing.”
“She did walk out, but it was to cool off,” Stafford said. “She really walked into the hands of a trafficker. They weren’t just waiting on her. They were waiting on anybody, and she happened to be the one. She did not run away. She did not turn herself in. She escaped because she was ready. She was trying. She had been trying to get away.”
“She’s going to get the best care that we can offer her, and we start the healing process,” she added. “She’s pretty resilient so she will heal from this as well.”
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