Law enforcement rescued a missing 13-year-old girl from a locked shed in Lexington, North Carolina, after federal authorities provided a tip about the missing minor.
Sheriff Richie Simmons of Davidson County stated that an FBI Violent Crimes Task Force had provided his office with information regarding a child who had been kidnapped from Dallas. The missing child was found by authorities in Lexington, North Carolina, in an externally locked shed behind a house.
Simmons claimed that Jorge Camacho, 34, lured her from her house to his car using a social media messenger.
“The chat was grooming and enticement in content, and he actually enticed her to leave the home where he picked her up in the area,” Simmons claimed.
The exact chronology of the abduction is still unknown because the investigation is ongoing, but according to the authorities, “camera activity” allowed them to identify the suspect and the vehicle used in the abduction within 10 minutes of receiving a report.
Authorities investigated Camacho’s house and discovered the kidnapped girl in a shed outside.
Records from Davidson, North Carolina show that Camacho was incarcerated on Saturday at the Davidson County Jail. He is accused of several crimes, including rape, kidnapping, and human trafficking. On a $1.2 million bond, he is being detained.
“I thank god that we were able to find this young girl; it may not be that case forever,” Simmons said, noting that his office had investigated a concerning number of similar cases.
According to data from the Department of Justice, more than 2,100 people were reported to federal authorities for human trafficking offenses in 2020, a 62% rise from 2011.
In 2020, 365,348 children were reported missing, with projections indicating that 30% of those were being actively trafficked, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Simmons said parents should be mindful of their children’s social media activity, given their potential susceptibility to bad actors.
“We’ve had to do this so many times, it’s crazy,” he said. “That’s why we’re pleading with these parents.”