A TEENAGE girl kidnapped by traffickers earlier this year and held for 11 days is now missing, her family says.
Natalee, 16, was at an inpatient treatment center when she reportedly suffered a “triggering event” related to the trauma of human trafficking and ran out of the facility, family attorney Zeke Fortenberry said.
Local Utah police have been notified and have been searching for her since her disappearance on August 4.
While the family have worked to keep Natalee’s identity a secret as she became a victim of sex trafficking, they have now released a photo of the teenager as they ask the public for help in locating her.
Her family has also launched a social media campaign using the hashtag “Find Natalee” to get her home.
“Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence among young victims who have suffered a major traumatic event such as sex trafficking,” Fortenberry said in a statement.
“The mental anguish she endured during human trafficking will live with her for the rest of her life.”
Natalee’s mother also released a statement about Fortenberry, saying, “I’m worried about her. She’s been through so much, me
I just want her to be found safely.”
“I love her with all my heart and will not stop looking for her until she is found.”
“I’m asking for people to help us find her,” the teen’s father added.
“Be aware of your surroundings, look around and see if you notice them, even the smallest clue or piece of information can be helpful to authorities.”
Natalee – who hails from a suburb of Fort Worth, Texas – first went missing on April 8 after becoming a victim of human trafficking while attending a Dallas Mavericks game with her father in April.
Her father said she went to the bathroom but never returned.
Surveillance footage showed the teenager leaving the American Airlines Center with a person interested in the case.
Eleven days later, on April 18, she was found by police at an Oklahoma City hotel.
The girl’s parents identified her from nude photos posted in sex ads online.
Eight people have since been arrested on various charges in connection with the teenager’s disappearance, including at least one known sex offender.
CALL FOR CHANGE
Natalee’s initial disappearance in April prompted Fortenberry and the girl’s family to issue a request for a change after Dallas police “did not make any effort to locate the young girl” because she was not from Dallas.
Fortenberry previously told The US Sun that he was repeatedly told that it was the Dallas Police Department’s policy “not to take reports of minors missing.”
“It doesn’t make sense,” Fortenberry said. “I’m not convinced it’s their policy.”
The Dallas Police Department has a missing persons squad to handle such cases. Their website states, “To report a runaway juvenile, the juvenile’s legal address must be in the city of Dallas.”
The Dallas Police Department has not yet responded to The US Sun’s request.
“If that’s the policy that needs changing,” Fortenberry said. “And if it’s not the policy, then the people making those decisions to categorize them need to be held accountable.”
Fortenberry commended the efforts of the Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative, a Houston-based human trafficking agency, for their work in finding the teenager.
It was the agency’s facial recognition technology that helped locate the teen’s nude photos, leading to Oklahoma City police finding them and arresting the eight people.
Anyone with information regarding Natalee’s current whereabouts is urged to contact the Layton Police Department at 801-497-8300.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5963828/shock-twist-teen-taken-basketball-game-traffickers-missing/ Teenage shock twist, taken from basketball game by traffickers and held for 11 days, goes MISSING after miraculous rescue