A 20-year-old human trafficking victim was recently rescued by LASD deputies after her disappearance on Feb. 26. The rescue resulted in the subsequent arrests of Rico Clayton, Chad Miller and Monique Butler. According to reports, Butler invited the victim to her birthday party on February 26, in Palmdale. When the victim arrived, she was assaulted by Clayton and Miller.
After the assault, the victim was transported to Oakland, CA., where the suspects took photographs of the victim and posted them on Backpage.com – a website similar to craigslist where the public can post a variety of ads. The victim and the suspects didn’t remain in Oakland long, as they soon headed to Orange County. During her 5-day ordeal, the victim was able to place two phone calls to her mother, who quickly alerted law enforcement on March 1st. A few hours after being made aware of the kidnapping, sheriff’s deputies located the victim at a Buena Park motel. Another few hours after the victim was located, the suspects were caught.
The suspects all face conspiracy and pandering charges, while Rico Clayton faces additional charges of pimping and false imprisonment by force. Chad Miller is also facing pimping charges.
As the investigation continued, law enforcement officers began to suspect that the suspects in the case were involved in other, similar cases of kidnapping and human trafficking. Investigators point to how quick and clean the alleged crime went down, and that the suspects were ready with an alias for the victim to use for advertising purposes.
It’s lucky for the victim in this case that she was rescued shortly after law enforcement were made aware of her disappearance. Human trafficking is far more pervasive than many people are aware of, and few victims are able to be rescued as quickly as the one in this case – if they’re rescued at all.