Eight arrested after kidnapping a teenager at a Dallas Mavericks game

Eight people have been arrested in Oklahoma City for allegedly trafficking a 15-year-old Texan girl who was kidnapped at a Dallas Mavericks game last month when she left her father to go to the bathroom.

The girl’s family is also demanding answers from Texas police about why they refused to investigate their daughter’s disappearance and were forced to track her down with the help of the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative (TXCTI) – a non-profit organization based in the Was able to track down nude – locate pictures of the girl on a prostitution website.

The teenager went to the restroom at the American Airlines Center on April 8 and never returned, her family’s attorney, Zeke Fortenberry of Fortenberry Firm, PLLC, said in a press release obtained by Fox News.

She was missing for 10 days until Oklahoma City police found her at an Extended Stay America Hotel — about 200 miles away — on April 18.

Oklahoma City Police Department has arrested Saniya Alexander, Melissa Wheeler, Chevaun Gibson, Kenneth Nelson, Sarah Hayes, Karen Gonzales, Thalia Gibson and Steven Hill in connection with the human trafficking case. Gibson is accused of offering to engage in prostitution; Nelson, Hayes and Gonzales are charged with human trafficking and distribution of child pornography; Hill faces rape charges; Gibson and Alexander have felony warrants; and Wheeler has a robbery order.

Mr Fortenberry said despite the family’s pleas to the Dallas Police Department, authorities refused to investigate the case, citing Texas Family Code statutes that treat missing juveniles as runaways “unless there are circumstances which appear to be involuntary, such as an abduction or kidnapping”.

“The systems and organizations involved in this case failed the victim time and time again. She should never have had contact with the man at the Mavericks game. Dallas police should have worked quickly to investigate leads and locate the teen before she was smuggled into Oklahoma,” Fortenberry Fox said in a statement.

The girl’s father said, “My daughter went missing in Dallas, this is a Dallas case, but they have refused to open a case for her.”

The Dallas Police Department told Fox that officers took up a report and included the missing teenager in a bulletin.

Mr Fortenberry also slammed the Extended Stay America Hotel for allowing a registered sex offender using a false name and ID to rent rooms.

“The Extended Stay America Hotel in Oklahoma City put profits ahead of the people by turning a blind eye to the sexual exploitation happening right before their very eyes. This victim’s life will be changed forever. We hope to hold those responsible accountable and bring about change within these organizations so that this doesn’t happen to any other child,” he said.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/eight-arrested-after-snatching-teen-at-dallas-mavericks-game?source=articles&via=rss Eight arrested after kidnapping a teenager at a Dallas Mavericks game


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: hung@interreviewed.com.

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