NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - It’s a horrifying thought, a child, becoming a victim of human trafficking.
It could have been the reality for one Middle Tennessee family.
An international non-profit that investigates trafficking found their 14-year-old daughter in Antioch.
“It’s a nightmare, what our family has lived through,” Briana Tipton said.
For four days Tipton didn’t know where her daughter was.
“Not knowing if she was OK and if she had food to eat, if she was hungry, thirsty,” Tipton said.
Her daughter left their La Vergne home last Monday with a small backpack and was found late Thursday night at an apartment in Antioch.
“We, as a whole, were in shock as to the state that she was in when we found her,” Tipton said.
Tipton and her fiancé Billy Curtis said after their daughter left home she went to a bus stop and that’s where a stranger convinced her to go with them.
“She was manipulated at the bus stop and it did not stop from there,” Curtis said.
Manipulation is something commonly seen by Hope for Justice, a non-profit that investigates human trafficking and helped find their daughter.
“They can make that situation seem to be ideal, but at some point, it’s going to get bad and it’s going to get bad quick,” Tipton said.
Tipton and Curtis now want all families to know human trafficking is something that should be discussed.
“It’s real and it’s right here at home, it’s in our neighborhoods,” Curtis said. “It’s just another thing we need to make our kids aware of.”
It’s a conversation that could be lifesaving.
“We have a happy ending we found her,” Tipton said. “I know there’s so many parents that they didn’t get the same result and we can be those parents, we could still be looking today for her.”
It was a tip from a flyer that lead Hope for Justice and the family to their daughter.
Police are still investigating the case.
The family said they still have a long road ahead of them and they are thankful for everyone’s help in the search.
If you’d like to learn more about Hope for Justice you can visit their website here.