JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Three Jackson-area residents have been arrested following an investigation into a missing teen.
The Hinds County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division located the teen during a human trafficking bust around 5 a.m.
“This is no joke. This could happen to you, it could happen to your family. We just need to remember to keep our eyes open,” said Hinds County Sheriff Victor Mason.
“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes that we have seen in this area,” he continued. “The victims are young. As young as twelve. If you see something that looks strange, a young child with two or three other men, you need to start calling somebody.”
The minor was found inside a local metro-area hotel room.
Twenty-nine-year-old Edward Williams was arrested Friday at his home, which is near a local school in Jackson; 28-year-old Charmaine Turner was arrested at her apartment complex on Tuesday; and 29-year-old Christopher Griffin was arrested at a home in Jackson.
Griffin was previously convicted of sexual battery of a minor and is required to register as a sex offender. All are being held at the Raymond Detention Center.
“I am glad they are off of our streets. My heart goes out to the child. Let’s hope this child turns out okay, because this could have a long term psychological effect on her,” Mason said.
The minor was taken from the scene and is being assessed.
“People need to be aware. Watch out for your children and loved ones because you never know who is living next door,” said Samantha Thompson.
Thompson works with the Sex Offender Registry for Hinds County Sheriff’s Offices. She says there are 710 registered sex offenders in Hinds County.
“Pay attention, be careful who you meet online. If you see anything out of the ordinary, someone watching you, watching a playground, anything, call somebody,” Thompson advises.