The parents of a 15-year-old Texas girl who was reportedly sex-trafficked in April after vanishing from a basketball game publicly spoke about the ordeal on Saturday.
Kyle and Brooke Morris told ESPN and “Good Morning America” that their daughter is doing well and is undergoing treatment. The girl, who allowed her parents to publicly speak about the ordeal, vanished on April 8 from a Dallas Mavericks game she had attended with her stepfather.
According to ESPN, surveillance footage showed the girl leaving the venue with an unidentified man. Kyle Morris said his stepdaughter said she was going to the bathroom, and disappeared without her phone or identification.
Ten days later, the teen was found walking along the side of the road in Oklahoma. Her parents said she was taken to a hotel in Oklahoma City — where she was sexually abused, starved, and barred from bathing.
While being held against her will, the teen reportedly saw several other girls in the same predicament as her.
“She said, ‘I wonder how long they have been in this life, but no one looked for them,'” Brooke Morris told ESPN, recounting the conversation she had with her daughter.
ESPN reported that police made three arrests at the hotel on April 15, but they did not locate the girl until three days later. The Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative reportedly helped locate the missing girl by reviewing online advertisements soliciting sex.
Suspects Kenneth Nelson and Sarah Hayes are charged with human trafficking and other offenses, while Steven Hill is charged with second-degree rape. Haynes and Nelson remain jailed on $250,000 and $300,000 bonds, respectively. Hill’s bond was set at $25,000.
Some reports indicated that as many as eight suspects were arrested in connection with this case.
“We just want to make sure people understand … that something like this can happen to anyone anywhere,” Kyle Morris told ESPN.
“Even if you don’t think it’s possible, there’s people out there that they want to make it happen.”
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[Featured image: Steven Hill, Steven Nelson, and Sarah Hayes/Oklahoma City Detention Center]