On September 28, 2023, the Tampa Police Department (TPD) was notified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that images of a 17-year-old female victim were posted on an online prostitution website. Detectives with the TPD Special Victims Unit immediately began an investigation. Investigators were able to determine that the photographs had been posted from a location in the northern section of the city.
On October 4, 2023, TPD SVU Detectives successfully recovered the teen. She has now been connected with resources, including the Tampa Police Victims Advocate, to assist her in accessing programs available to assist survivors of human trafficking.
“Our detectives are dedicated to protecting our community and ensuring justice is served for victims of human trafficking,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “We are also committed to connecting victims with local organizations such as Miniserio Mujeres Restaurdas por Dios, a recent recipient of TPD C.A.R.E.S. funding, to provide assistance to survivors of human trafficking."
While no arrests have been made yet, the human trafficking investigation involving the victim remains active.