The number of minors reported abducted and forced into sex trafficking is on the rise, according to law enforcement in Mississippi. Officials are asking parents to take extra precautions while vacationing this holiday. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst describes a case just last week in which a Jackson man was found guilty for trafficking minors.
"This individual was recruiting minors who had either runaway or he had heard about and he was forcing them not only through physical force but through mental torture, holding guns to their heads to force them into the sex trade," said Hurst.
Hurst says in 2018, more than 40 calls have been made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from the state. At least half of them were cases of sex trafficking.
Leah Daughdrill of Moss Point was a teenager when a friend of the family forced her to have sex with men for money that she says he kept for himself.
She says its important for individuals to recognize when they are being victimized.
"If someone comes in and you are forced to have any kind of sexual relations with them and you don't see anything from that exchange of value, that's a potential trafficking situation. That's kind of what happened to me," said Daughdrill.
Law enforcement officials and survivors are asking Mississippians to get involved and report any suspicious activity. For information about how to report a situation, visit the Justice Department's web site at just