Teen Human Trafficking Victim Saves Herself by Texting 911

Teen Human Trafficking Victim Saves Herself by Texting 911

A road sign in Tijuana, Mexico points drivers to the U.S.-Mexico border city of San Diego on Nov. 6, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

California Insider Staff
California Insider Staff


Updated: 5/20/2024


A 17-year-old saved herself recently from becoming a human trafficking victim by texting 911, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said May 16 in a statement.
The teenager had been taken from Mexico to Ventura County approximately two months ago, and sent texts May 9 to 911 asking for help, police said.
Police found the victim in the area of Casitas Springs, about 8 miles north of the City of Ventura, after workers at the 911 call center provided real-time information about her whereabouts, authorities said.
The victim said she didn’t know where she was but was able to describe landmarks to the Ventura County Sheriff’s operator, according to authorities.
Gerardo Cruz, a 31-year-old native of Veracruz, Mexico was arrested, according to media reports, after police matched him to the victim’s description of the suspect, authorities said.
He is being held on multiple charges, including human trafficking, forcible rape, lewd acts on a child, luring, and sexual penetration with force. His bail is set at $500,000.
Anyone with more information about the case can contact the Ventura Sheriff’s Office at (805) 654-2380 or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 to remain anonymous.
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