KIRKLAND, Wash. - A routine theft investigation took a turn when Kirkland Police Department (KPD) officers rescued a 16-year-old girl believed to be a victim of human trafficking from a motel in Totem Lake.
Initially responding to a theft report at a local gas station, KPD patrol officers spotted a suspicious vehicle at a nearby Motel 6. Officers investigated the vehicle acting on information provided by the FBI regarding a missing California teenager suspected to be a victim of sex trafficking and potentially located at the same motel. Their findings raised concerns that the vehicle might be connected to the missing teenager.
Following their leads, the officers found a 16-year-old girl inside one of the motel rooms, confirming her identity as the missing teenager from California. Officers arrested two suspects and impounded the vehicle in question.
Child Protective Services was called to provide care and support for the rescued girl.
The two men arrested were booked into King County Jail for investigation of multiple crimes including Promoting Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor.
KPD expressed gratitude to the Seattle FBI Field Office and Child Protective Services for their collaboration in resolving this case.
"This is something the FBI was working very hard on over the weekend trying to locate this girl, and it worked out great that (she was) recovered safely," the FBI said. "We put a lot of effort into finding this girl. We were notified by NCMEC (NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN) that she may be up here and our guys went to work."
Authorities encourage anyone suspecting instances of human trafficking, whether involving minors or adults coerced into prostitution or labor, to report their concerns to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.