ROCKWALL — Arrest warrants have revealed new details in the case of four North Texas family members allegedly involved in the selling of a 14-year-old girl to an Illinois family for sex.
Authorities claim the teen was sold and sent out of state but then picked up when her father, 31-year-old Steven Marks of Denton, didn't receive the full negotiated price for the young girl. The father then allegedly began to make plans to sell his daughter again, this time to a family in Florida.
The investigation began when the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported the teen missing to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Sept. 26.
According to arrest warrants, authorities learned Steven Marks sold his daughter in mid-October to a family in Elgin, Illinois "so that the child would engage in sex acts and be involved in a common-law marriage to a male subject believed to be about three years older than the child."
Arrest warrants allege the father received a partial payment of $8,600. However, authorities say Steven Marks and his wife, Lila Miller, drove to Illinois in early January to pick up the teen when they didn't receive the full agreed payment of $17,500.
On Jan. 24, authorities learned Steven Marks was allegedly in the midst of once again selling his daughter, which is when the father was arrested on an outstanding warrant of making a false report while at Rockwall County Child Protective Services.
After his arrest, authorities questioned Steven Marks' wife and parents, Davy and Dorothy Marks, who all claimed they hadn't seen the teen in four months, according to warrants. During their interviews, Marks' mother allegedly contacted her grandson, Miller Marks, to warn him that authorities were headed to their Mesquite home, where the teen was being held.
At that time, Miller Marks and the teen left the home, which is when the young girl was able to flee to a nearby fast food restaurant and call 911 for help, warrants claim.
Miller and Steven Marks' parents were all charged with interference with child custody. Steven Marks was charged with purchasing or selling a child for sex and is being held at the Rockwall County Jail on a $1 million bond.
Steven Marks has a history with Child Protective Services, which has placed at least three of his seven children into foster care custody in the past.
In April 2018, a grand jury heard testimony and indicted all four family members on their respective charges. There is no word yet on their trial dates.