Authorities are advising parents to monitor their children’s social media activity after a missing girl from Arizona was tracked to the basement of the Utah home of a convicted sex offender.
“If you think that trafficking doesn’t happen here, think again,” the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a post Friday. “Parents, always monitor your child’s social media activity and talk to them about the dangers of human trafficking. Our detectives are working in cooperation with Utah agencies to investigate where the initial incident took place.”
The sheriff’s office told Fox News Digital investigations were ongoing to see where the initial incident took place, adding the teenager was on juvenile probation and outfitted with an ankle monitoring device that helped law enforcement find her.
The 14-year-old was first reported as a runaway juvenile by her father Jan. 28, according to AZ Family. However, the girl reportedly left the evening before.
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Citing court documents, the station said 26-year-old Jordan Sorenson began commenting on the girl’s TikTok videos, and a conversation continued on Snapchat. Sorenson offered to have food delivered to the girl’s house, and she gave him her address. Sorenson is accused of driving over eight hours to meet her.
“This whole case is very tragic and not something we want to see any of our kids go through,” DeShae Fangmeyer, deputy senior probation officer, told AZ Family Thursday.
“If she didn’t have this ankle monitoring device on, we never would have found her,” she said, adding the bracelet was on for hours before being cut off.
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The Utah Attorney General’s office said agents from the Utah Department of Corrections’ Division of Adult Probation and Parole arrested Sorenson following an investigation in coordination with the Utah Attorney General’s human trafficking unit. It received information from Arizona regarding the case Jan. 31.
Sorenson was located at his workplace and transported to his West Valley home.
The girl was turned over to the care of a victim’s advocate from the attorney general’s office.
“It is a priority for our office to utilize our Secure Strike Force to assist minors and to prosecute the growing number of human traffickers who are out there. These crimes are becoming more frequent, and we all need to continue to work together to combat these crimes,” Richard Piatt, the office’s communications director, said in a statement.
Sorenson was convicted in June 2020 of first-degree felony aggravated sexual extortion of an adult. He is on probation with AP&P and is listed on Utah’s sex offender registry.
In addition to probation violations for Sorenson, there is an ongoing investigation into potential new criminal charges by the attorney general’s human trafficking unit.