Investigators say a known human trafficker lured a 14-year-old girl to a hotel room.
Police arrested Christopher Sarabia last month.
Police said he is from California and was messaging his victim on Instagram.
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The teenager eventually met him in a College Park motel. Her parents only realized she was gone the next morning.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes spoke with investigators about how they tracked down the child. Oakwood Police Sergeant Chris Campbell has a warning for all parents.
“It’s a good thing to stay in your kid’s business and especially their electronic devices and stuff. You have to these days,” Campbell said.
Police say Sarabia flew from California to Georgia and planned to take her back to California to traffick her.
“She ended up leaving in an Uber and just walking out the house in the middle of the night,” Campbell said.
When her parents realized she was gone the next day, they thought someone had kidnapped her because she’s a homeschooled child who is home most of the time.
“The online predator thing is a big deal. These predators and human traffickers are all over the internet, they’re all over social apps,” Campbell said.
Oakwood police tracked her phone to a College Park motel.
“She was messaging her parents at one time saying she didn’t know where she was,” Campbell said.
Investigators aren’t sure if that was actually the girl or the suspect who typed the message.
Sarabia is charged with statutory rape and police believe there could be more suspects and more victims.
Police say parents should monitor social media apps and gaming apps as well.
“They’re all over the gaming systems talking to these kids through headsets. The gaming system is a big place for them to draw kids,” Campbell said.
The parents of this girl did not think their daughter was capable of leaving with a stranger like she did.
They urge other parents to monitor what their child is doing online, even if they think their child would never do something like this.
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