Eight months have passed since a 15-year-old girl was abducted at a Dallas Mavericks game and subjected to a sex-trafficking scheme.
The parents of the teenage victim are still angry with how they claim stadium authorities and local police mishandled the investigation.
Kyle Morris took his daughter to a Mavericks game in early April. During the game, the then-15-year-old left her seat to use the restroom and never returned.
Morris said he notified a security officer at the game of his missing daughter but was told he needed to report her as a runaway to the local North Richland Hills police department.
Eleven days later, she was located by police at a hotel in Oklahoma City, where she was being sex trafficked.
Morris said he is still angry.
“Angry with myself? Yes, because I still carry that. Angry with the security personnel? Absolutely. Absolutely,” Morris said.
The victim’s family viewed security footage from the arena of the day their daughter went missing. They claim the footage showed their daughter circling the Mavericks arena with unknown men, passing multiple security guards after her dad had already notified a security guard that she was missing.
Morris said any of the multiple security guards could have approached her if they had been told to look for her when he reported her missing.
“I guess I am confused and frustrated as to why they didn’t report that to all the security personnel,” Morris told WFAA. “I knew exactly what she was saying. I told them what she was wearing. She walked past several security personnel.”
The girl underwent days of assault, drugging, and abuse before being found in the Oklahoma City hotel.
Oklahoma City police arrested eight people, though the department said some of the people arrested were picked up on outstanding warrants from unrelated cases.
Three people have been charged with multiple felonies related to the Morris case, two of which have already been sentenced.
Sarah Hayes, 33, and Kenneth Nelson, 44, both pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges, including manufacturing child pornography, distributing child pornography, human trafficking, and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Nelson also pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge.
Hayes was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Nelson was sentenced to 12 years.
A third suspect, Steven Hill, was with the teen when police found her. He faces a rape charge and a jury trial that begins in April.
Unless Hill accepts a plea deal, the young victim will likely have to testify. Despite the arrests that have already taken place, officials are still trying to identify other suspects potentially involved in the case.
On December 12, Dallas police released surveillance photos of three men at the American Airlines Center, who the department referred to as “persons of interest,” who may have information on how the teen went missing from the arena and wound up in Oklahoma City.
“There is some frustration and anger at those officers, particularly the one that sent me home that night,” Morris said.
The American Airlines Center is located in City Councilman Jesse Moreno’s District 2, the only city council district in Dallas to see sustained year-over-year increases in crime over the past several months, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
In this day and age, how STUPID, IRRESPONSIBLE for a parent to let their child go to a public bathroom by themselves, evidently Kyle is,and the real question is, how easy was it for them to get her to cooperate in that DAMN arena,did she FORGET she came with her father.
Morris needs to sue the venue and the security personnel personally. Either there were no protocols or the protocols were NOT followed.
Place me on the jury. The award will assure that nothing like this happens again in venues like this.
I pray for the daughter.