After nine months of searching, law enforcement has captured the suspect allegedly responsible for the abduction and exploitation of a teenage girl who went missing from a Dallas Mavericks game.
On January 26, Emanuel Jose Cartagena, aged 33, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Task Force due to a felony warrant that had been issued against him in regards to the sexual assault of a child. This was reported by the Dallas Police Department in a press release.
A few days later, Cartagena was taken to the Bell County Jail, as indicated in public jail records.
According to police reports, Cartagena allegedly encountered the 15-year-old victim outside the American Airlines Center on April 8, 2022 and proceeded to entice her to a house in the city. Once there, he is accused of having sexually assaulted her.
The girl’s parents, Kyle and Brooke Morris, told CBS News that the suspect struck up a conversation with their daughter as she was on her way to the bathroom.
The only lead authorities had at the time was grainy surveillance footage of a man in a yellow hoodie, CBS News reports. The man in the video has since been identified as Cartagena.
After a 10 day search, the teen was located in a hotel in Oklahoma City where the Morrises have reported that she had been given drugs and was a victim of human trafficking.
The Texas Counter-Trafficking Initiative, a non-profit organization, played a role in locating the teenager. ESPN reported that the young girl had been deprived of food and prevented from taking a shower during her ordeal.