Ohio State Highway Patrolman Mitch Ross stopped a driver on I-80 west in Lucas County, Ohio. He planned to issue the adult male driver a “failure to move” citation, but then he noticed that a young girl was riding in the car with the man. Neither of them had identification or spoke English.
The trooper’s gut feeling told him that something wasn’t quite right, so he called a translator from OSHP to investigate. The translator, too, felt like something was terribly wrong.
The girl turned out to be 15 years old. She’d been reported missing in New Jersey. The driver, a 35-year-old man, was taking her to Chicago.
When officers were able to speak to the girl alone, she told them that the man had “forced her to perform acts” on him, per a press release.
The girl is now receiving medical care. The driver is at the Lucas County jail, where he faces charges for abduction. Authorities haven’t released the identities of either the victim or the trafficker.
There were over 10,000 human trafficking victims in the US in 2017, including 7,255 victims of sex trafficking, according to the Polaris Project‘s National Hotline. Law enforcement systems are one of the top five points of access for victims to get free.
Footage provided by WJW Cleveland
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