Father fears daughter is human trafficking victim

Detra Duncan, 16, last seen Dec. 23

SAN ANTONIO – Human trafficking is now 70 percent of the missing persons cases currently being worked on by the staff at the Heidi Search Center.

Juan Armenta said he believes his daughter, Detra Duncan, 16, could be another victim.

He said he woke up the day before Christmas to find her daughter gone.

"My youngest daughter woke me up and said, 'Dad, Detra's gone.'" Armenta said. "I jumped up and she gave me the note and I read it. I didn't know what to do."

According to a police report, Duncan left a note asking her dad not to call police, and said she would be back at 3 o'clock that afternoon, but Duncan never came home.

"I fear the worst for her," Armenta said.

READ: Signs a child may be a victim of trafficking

Duncan was with her family at an apartment off of Nacogdoches Road and Loop 410, but investigators believe an adult man, whom she knew, may have picked her up.

Dottie Laster, executive director at the Heidi Search Center, said she also fears Duncan may be a victim of human trafficking.

"Multiple runaways, someone that's too young to accumulate things, but maybe is receiving a lot of gifts and money," Laster said. "Somebody that is exchanging online with someone that's way too old for them."

Armenta said Duncan came home with a $200 bike and other expensive gifts before she disappeared.

"She was always on her phone, texting, emailing, a lot, you know," Armenta said. "And I should have figured something was wrong."

"What we have today is the interaction of applications, texting, video and pictures," Laster said. "What starts as a virtual conversation can wind up outside your front door."

Anyone who has seen Duncan or knows something about the case is asked to call the San Antonio Police Department at 210-207-7662 or the Heidi Search Center at 210-650-0428.

WATCH: SAPD human trafficking awareness campaign

About the Author: