Minor Rescued from Hotel
Three people are now behind bars, charged with human trafficking, after Biloxi police began investigating reports of a missing minor. News 25’s Kristen Durand has details on the victim’s rescue and more about human trafficking on the Coast.
It’s a crime that often flies under the radar. “The target age is 12 to 15 but our youngest victim, like four years ago, was three-years-old and this went on until she was nine,” said Sharon Robbins with Advocates for Freedom.
Human trafficking happens a lot more here on the Coast than most people would like to believe. “And the reason for that is we’re right off the I-10 corridor which goes from California all the way to Florida. There’s pickups, drop offs, they pick up in one state and take to another state,” said Robbins.
A young girl under the age of 18 is safe now after three human trafficking arrests were made in Biloxi. Twenty-eight year-old Kendrick McCollum, 24-year-old Demetri Evans and 22-year-old Sherrica Lewis, all from Mobile, are now behind bars at the Harrison County Jail, each with a $100,000 bond.
Lieutenant Aldon Helmert with Biloxi Police Department said, “As a result of their investigation, it led those officers to believe that the juvenile was being subjected to commercial sexual activity, specifically in this case, prostitution.”
This is a crime that Robbins knows all too well, saving over 130 trafficking victims in our area. “Eighty-five percent of the children that are coming up missing, this is what’s happening to them, especially if you don’t find a body within 72 hours.”
The Biloxi Police Department says a simple phone tip is what led them to the location of the juvenile at a local Biloxi hotel. “Often times, people don’t know the significance of a small tip. Sometimes the smallest tip is what actually leads us to investigate crimes that seem insignificant but later turn out to be much larger,” said Lt. Helmert.
So, no matter how small it may seem, if you have a tip, report it. That minor detail could be a life-saver.