Texas father tracks down his teen daughter after she’s kidnapped by sex traffickers she met on Snapchat

(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In Texas, a father said he turned detective in order to save his 18-year-old daughter after she was kidnapped by sex traffickers that she met on Snapchat.

John Clark, a Houston-area energy executive, said that his daughter, a childhood cancer survivor, was 16 when one of her alleged captors began “grooming” her over Snapchat. Speaking with The Daily Beast, the father said that his daughter had fallen in with a bad crowd, but that he “had no idea it was nearly as bad as it was.” After his daughter disappeared in April, the teenager’s friends refused to answer questions as to her whereabouts, he said. And while not condemning police, Clark said that in the time it would have “lost [his] daughter” if he waited for them “to build an airtight case.”

After hiring a private kidnap and rescue firm, consulting experts that included an ex-FBI agent, and even buying his own 1-800 number in order to get tips, Clark was able to track his daughter and one of the alleged captors to a Houston apartment building. The alleged captor has since pled guilty to promoting prostitution of a minor, according to KHOU.

Last month, shortly before the news broke of Backpage.com CEO’s Carl Ferrer’s arrest for charges that included pimping minors, Clark launched a petition to strengthen Texas’ anti-traficking laws.

According to Dottie Laster, an anti-trafficking advocate who said she provided guidance for Clark, traffickers “do not discriminate in age, socioeconomic status, gender, or geographic location.” Targeting teens on apps such as Snapchat and Kik, she explained, traffickers seek to build a relationship of trust with their victims before kidnapping them and subjecting them to sexual slavery.

“When kids are worth $150,000 to $300,000 a year on the sex market, [traffickers] are going to spend the time, do the work, show up at football games,” said Laster. “They’ll put in the time to do this.”

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.


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