CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – An Horry County runaway teen was found in a hotel in Richland County. Police say she was trafficked. The teen left her foster home two weeks ago. The foster parent told the police this was not the first time she ran away.
Police were notified around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night when a concerned Richland County mother called police about her 15-year old daughter who ran away the week before. Police checked the Regency Inn near Broad River Road and found the teen. She told police two other teen girls were also at the hotel and were being held against their will.
One teen was from Kershaw County, the other from Horry County.
Richland County Sherriff Lott said, “sadly these young girls who are runaways are the ones who have been victimized.” The sheriff also called it modern day slavery.
Kristopher Davis, 25, and Geordi Heyward, 23, were previously charged with contributing to the delinquency of minor. Heyward was also facing a charge of third-degree sexual conduct with a minor. Lott said those charges will be on top of the human trafficking charges. Investigators have also charged Danielle Burns, 18, who turned himself in Wednesday, with human trafficking.
News13 spoke with solicitor Jimmy Richardson about this case. He said many don’t believe trafficking still goes but he says it happens often.
“It does happen and it happens a lot if you consider prostitution because that is well within the definition. It doesn’t happen nearly as much like on the movie when we watch Taken or something like that. That doesn’t happen nearly as much because there’s too many people willing to take drugs for their body.”
Solicitor Jimmy Richardson also said the people in this case will likely face charges of statutory rape because that is a much easier crime to prosecute.