BY The Western JournalMay 22, 2022
2 years ago
BY 
 | May 22, 2022
2 years ago

Eight Under Arrest After Girl Who Went Missing at Mavericks Game Is Found in Out-of-State Hotel

Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.

A 15-year-old Texas girl who went missing at a Dallas Mavericks game was later found in Oklahoma, and now eight people have been arrested in connection with trafficking charges.

On April 8, the girl, whose name was not revealed, went to the restroom while attending a basketball game with her father at American Airlines Center, Zeke Fortenberry, the attorney for her family, said.

“After five to ten minutes, it seemed like a little bit too long. The father got up to go look for his daughter, and she couldn’t be found,” he said, according to WHNT-TV.

It was not until April 18 that she was found at an Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, according to Fox News.

The Oklahoma City Police Department later arrested Saniya Alexander, Melissa Wheeler, Chevaun Gibson, Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes, Karen Gonzales, Thalia Gibson and Steven Hill in connection with the case. Gibson is charged with offering to engage in prostitution.

Nelson, Hayes and Gonzales were charged with human trafficking and distribution of child pornography; Hill faces a charge of rape. Gibson and Alexander have warrants against them for felonies. Wheeler has a warrant against her for robbery.

“We are thankful for the work of the Oklahoma City Police Department and the recovery of our daughter. My heart breaks for the unimaginable things my daughter had to endure for the 11 days she was taken, and I am so glad she is safe as we work toward her recovery," the girl's mother said in a statement.

But the family still feels the system did not act in a responsible fashion.

“Despite being immediately notified of the teenager’s disappearance within minutes of it occurring at the AAC, the Dallas Police Department refused to investigate the case,” Fortenberry said, according to KFOR-TV.

“The family continuously called the Dallas Police Department to seek their assistance but were never given any help to find their daughter. In fact, the Dallas Police Department never asked for a photograph of her,” he said.

The family contacted the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative and found the girl’s nude photos were posted online on a website linked to prostitution.

The Oklahoma City Police Department’s Vice Unit received a tip from the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative that the teen was being trafficked for sex purposes in their city.

The tip eventually resulted in the arrests.

Fortenberry said the family was lucky.

“The systems and organizations involved in this case continually failed the victim. She should never have had contact with the man at the Mavericks game. The Dallas Police should have worked quickly to investigate leads and locate the teenager before she was trafficked to Oklahoma,” he said.

“The Extended Stay America hotel in Oklahoma City put profits ahead of people by turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation occurring right before their eyes. This victim’s life will forever be changed. We hope to hold accountable those responsible and create change within these organizations, so that this never happens to any other child,” he said.

Dallas police said the case was handled according to existing protocols that required it to be operated through the North Richland Hills Police Department as a missing person case, which it eventually was.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: The Western Journal

NATIONAL NEWS

SEE ALL

Russian Hackers Target US Agencies In Email Breach Involving Microsoft

In a major cybersecurity incident, Russian government-linked hackers known as Midnight Blizzard have compromised email correspondence between several U.S. federal agencies and tech giant Microsoft.…
9 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

Judge Denies Trump's Request to Delay Hush Money Trial

In a major legal setback for former President Donald Trump, his attempt to postpone the upcoming hush money trial was rejected by New York Judge…
9 hours ago
 • By Staff Writers

O.J. Simpson's Obituary Erroneously Mentions Donald Trump In LA Times

In a memorable mishap, the Los Angeles Times obituary for former NFL star O.J. Simpson mistakenly included the name of Donald Trump. Quick actions were…
1 day ago
 • By Staff Writers

Trump's Trial on Stormy Daniels Case Proceeds After Appeal Denied

A New York appeals court has firmly dismissed the final appeals by former President Donald Trump's legal team to postpone the upcoming trial related to…
1 day ago
 • By Staff Writers

North Carolina Braces for High-Stakes 2024 Elections

A recent Quinnipiac Poll has unveiled a nail-biting electoral scenario in North Carolina, as former President Donald Trump narrowly leads President Joe Biden in the…
1 day ago
 • By Staff Writers

DON'T WAIT.

We publish the objective news, period. If you want the facts, then sign up below and join our movement for objective news:

    LATEST NEWS

    Newsletter

    Get news from American Digest in your inbox.

      By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: American Digest, 3000 S. Hulen Street, Ste 124 #1064, Fort Worth, TX, 76109, US, http://americandigest.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact.
      Christian News Alerts is a conservative Christian publication. Share our articles to help spread the word.
      © 2024 - CHRISTIAN NEWS ALERTS - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
      magnifier