BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A tip to the Biloxi Police Department that a missing teen from out of state could be in the area, led them to an unsettling Fat Tuesday discovery at the Flamingo Beach Inn.
"As a result of finding the juvenile, it was evidence discovered that indicated that that juvenile was being subjected to commercial sexual activity. In this case specifically, prostitution," said Lt. Aldon Helmert.
Kendrick McCollum, Demetri Evans, and Sherrica Lewis all of Mobile, Alabama were arrested and charged with human trafficking.
"It's our understanding that it was an online advertisement," said Helmert.
An internet ad is the the same way Biloxi police were led to another human trafficking victim this past October. Even though it's been months since they've had a human trafficking arrest, Sharon Robbins said it's an issue and every case is one too many.
"It is happening. It has been happening and being that we're right here next to I-10 and it's the major corridor for the state of Mississippi and all the states between California and Florida," said Robbins who is president of Advocates for Freedom.
Advocates for Freedom is a local non-profit that aims to bring awareness to human trafficking. As sad as every case is, the more light that's shed on it, the more people will pay attention.
"85 percent of the children that come up missing, this is what's happening. Especially if you don't find a body or the child in the first 72 hours," said Robbins.
Advocates for Freedom volunteers work closely with the police to help victims with no place to go. In this case, the victim is now safe. Still, Robbins says they will continue to work with law enforcement and the public to shed more light on this heinous crime.
If you see any suspicious activity that leads you believe a young person is being trafficked, you can call the Advocates for Freedom hotline at 888- 373-7888.