Girl safe after rescue from Durham motel
The break came when a friend saw an advertisement on an adult website.
Apparently, she recognized the tattoo.
It was a 17-year-old girl who had run away from home in upstate New York in February.
Somehow, she ended up in a south Durham motel, where two people are accused of prostituting her to men from New York to South Carolina.
This week, Durham police arrested Mark Brown, 26, of Ellis Road and Fatmiyah Tunis, 24, of Queens, New York. Both are charged with human trafficking and promoting prostitution of a minor. They were held in the Durham County Jail under $750,000 bond each.
Detective Jesus Sandoval of the Durham Police Department said the victim is in good condition and was getting help from the Salvation Army.
The investigation continues, he said, and more arrests are possible. The police department worked with the Polaris Project with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, the Raleigh Police Department, ICE and Homeland Security.
Sandoval urged the public to be aware that “suspicious people don’t wear any specific clothing. People should not hesitate to call 911 even if you don’t think it’s anything, just look at people’s behavior.”
He also cautioned motel workers to watch for warning signs – older men bringing young women or high traffic to a specific room.
“Public awareness is key to having these crimes reported in a timely manner,” Sandoval said.
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