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Man Arrested in Daviess County Human Trafficking Case

Police point to a growing trend of social media interaction as having played a role in this and other abductions.

Posted: Aug 25, 2020 9:57 PM
Updated: Aug 26, 2020 1:17 PM

A Daviess County teen came face to face with a frightening reality, nearly becoming  a victim of human trafficking.

Thankfully police intervened in time.

Officers spent hours searching, with the trail leading them to southern parts of the county.

That trail, leading to a Tennessee man attempting the unthinkable.

Kentucky State Police said, they found the missing 15-year-old teen--with the man who abducted her--at a Circle K hours after her mother reported her missing.

It's a parent's worst nightmare: a child caught up in the web of human trafficking.

After her parents reported her missing, Kentucky State Police launched an investigation into the teen's whereabouts, leading them across western Kentucky before bringing them right back to where they started.

KSP found her with 40-year-old Steven Hargrove of LaVergne, Tennessee. He was arrested and charged with Promoting Human Trafficking.

Police point to a growing trend of social media interaction as having played a role in this and other abductions.

“There’s more people now using more screen time, which means the greater opportunity for these pedophiles and these perpetrators to get our youth," KSP Trooper Corey King said.

One Philpot mom said she knows how dangerous social media can be and just how easily kids can fall victim to online predators.

“I feel like even being in a small town in a small community, the internet brings the whole world to you and all the scary things that come with the big world to your small children and it’s terrifying," said Codie Lingle.

And while incidents like this aren't really heard of in the community, King said the threat is very real.

“For probably two or three -- four years -- I’ve been teaching many parents in this area the dangers of social media," he said. "And this right here should hit home for many of our parents.”

Hargrove was taken to the Daviess County Detention Center. His bond is set at $50,000.

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