A young D.C. girl missing for days is now back home, but her family is afraid she may have been the victim of sex trafficking.
For nearly three days, Gary Jones-Russell had no idea where his 11-year-old daughter was.
“It was just horrifying. It really was,” the father said.
Her grandparents said she was playing outside her Southwest D.C. home before the sun went down Sunday and then she never came back in.
D.C. police put out a flyer for the child reported as critical missing, but Jones-Russell alleges the police did the bare minimum in helping search for his daughter.
“There were absolutely no police officers either on foot, bike, in a vehicle, out canvassing the area, talking to the community, passing out flyers. The community did that,” Jones-Russell said.
D.C. police did not return comment as to how they went about the search, but there was never an Amber Alert issued because her disappearance did not fit the criteria necessary.
Nearly 72 hours after she disappeared, the sixth grader called home.
“They had just picked her up on 14th and K Street, which we both know what goes on up there,” her father said.
Tina Frundt runs Courtney’s House, which is a non-profit that helps girls who are forced into the sex trade. She said the average age of girls and boys sex trafficked are 11 to 17 years old.
“14th and K is actually a very known area for pimp-controlled trafficking. This means that you have to have someone controlling you to even be in the area,” said Frundt. “This 11-year-old girl was also forced probably, raped usually, and then trained on the rules to be put out to make money.”
Jones-Russell said his daughter met her 18-year-old predator on social media.
“She had told me ‘Yes, Daddy. I was sexually active with this man in different capacities,’” Jones-Russell said.
“Clearly she was under the influence of something,” the father said.
“Dressed provocatively?” asked FOX 5’s Marina Marraco.
“Dressed provocatively, an 11-year-old girl,” Jones-Russell said.
Detectives have not arrested the man Jones-Russell believes took his daughter and police have not said what they believe exactly happened.
“Sadly enough, this goes on way more than people really want to know. Not just 11, but 10 and 9. Without supply there would be no demand and that’s what this is really about,” said Frundt.
As soon as the girl was picked up by her family, her father took her to a police station and then to a hospital.
Police are not calling the case an abduction and they are not saying if it could be related to sex trafficking. No arrests have been made.