A girl who was just 13-years-old when she was abducted and sold into sex trafficking has died.
Leticia Serrano, from Houston, Texas, was drugged and taken from her family in 2017.
She was later rescued by family members, but struggled to readjust to everyday life, her grandmother Cynthia Rivera wrote this week on a Facebook page aimed at raising money for her funeral costs.
“With the help of the community I was able to get her back,” Ms Rivera wrote.
“When we got her back the damage was already done.”
Leticia took her own life on October 12 at the age of 15, her grandmother said.
The teenager’s father, Mariano Serrano told ABC13 his daughter’s death has broken him.
“I feel like I let her down,” the devastated father said.
Ms Rivera described Leticia as a “great girl” who was a “good student and loved her puppies.”
The family say they are now dedicated to bringing awareness to the prevalence of sex trafficking.
In 2018, the Human Trafficking Hotline reported receiving more than 1,000 cases.
The organisation also received roughly 2,300 contacts from possible victims.
Michelle Lee, an FBI spokeswoman, told KSAT12 last year that there are nearly 18,000 child victims of sex trafficking every year.
"One out of every four runaways will actually be approached by someone to traffic them within the first 48 hours," Ms Lee said.
"Very troubling statistics that state that within five years of being trafficked, a minor will start experiencing significant health problems, such that it will kill them," she continued.
For more information or further resources, visit humantraffickinghotline.org.
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