Texas police officers rescued a 9-year-old boy who they say was kidnapped by a suspect allegedly looking to sell the child into human trafficking.
Authorities with the San Antonio Police Department's R.O.P.E. (Repeat Offenders Program) say the child was abducted in downtown San Antonio on Tuesday. Local authorities and Homeland Security were immediately notified, according to WOAI-TV.
Detectives followed several leads and were able to locate the 9-year-old in a parked car outside of an H-E-B supermarket around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
SAPD officers blocked the suspect's car in the parking lot and rescued the victim, who was reportedly not seriously injured.
An adult male, whose identity has not yet been released, was reportedly arrested and charged with kidnapping and human trafficking.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline says in 2018 it received reports of 10,949 suspected human trafficking cases. Among U.S. states, most were from California, with 1,656 reported cases, followed by Texas, with 1,000. Florida and New York had 767 and 492 reported cases, respectively.
Sex trafficking was the No. 1 reported type of trafficking, with 7,859 alleged cases. Labor trafficking, the second most reported, trailed behind at 1,249 reported cases.
Women were by far the most affected by the human trafficking epidemic, with 7,126 female victims compared to 1,137 male victims reported.
Still, many cases of human trafficking will never be reported. The Global Slavery Index 2018 estimates that on any given day in 2016 there were 403,000 people living in conditions of modern slavery in the United States, a prevalence of 1.3 victims of modern slavery for every thousand in the country.