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Family of sex trafficking victim who went missing at Mavs game frustrated with police response

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, multiple people have been charged and even sentenced in this case.

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas — The past eight months have been a rollercoaster for Brooke and Kyle Morris. A rollercoaster of emotions, clues, false starts and trying to put pieces together. 

Kyle Morris admits he's still angry. 

“Angry with myself? Yes, because I still carry that. Angry with the security personnel? Absolutely. Absolutely," Kyle Morris said. 

He took his daughter to a Dallas Mavericks game in early April. During the game, the then-15-year-old left her seat and never returned. Morris said he informed a security officer at the game, but she told him he needed to report her as a runaway to their local police department in North Richland Hills. 

Eleven days later, she was recovered by police at a hotel in Oklahoma City, where she was being sex trafficked. 

"There is some frustration and anger at those officers, particularly the one that sent me home that night," Morris said. 

In response to a previous request in this case, Dallas police provided a Texas state code that lays out how their response to runaway cases, which is how the department classified Morris' daughter. 

The Morrises said surveillance footage from the arena showed their daughter leave with an unknown man. However, before she left the area, she was seen walking around the American Airlines Center, sitting on the steps outside and walking around the area with multiple men before she left. 

Kyle Morris said he walked by multiple security officers who could have approached her if they had been told to look for her when he reported her missing. 

"I guess I am confused and frustrated as to why they didn't report that to all the security personnel," Morris said. "I knew exactly what she was saying. I told them what she was wearing. She walked past several security personnel."

On Dec. 12, nearly eight months later, Dallas police released surveillance photos of three men at the AAC who the department referred to as "persons of interest" who may have information on the teen being sexually assaulted the day she was seen leaving the arena. 

DPD's release states they believe she was assaulted the same day she was seen with them at the stadium, and they believe the men in the photos can give them information on where the assault happened. 

“It is actually infuriating to me because she has already told me where these things happen, and she has told me details," Brooke Morris said. 

Her daughter, who has been in recovery for months, has been journaling about what happened to her as part of her healing process. Brooke Morris said in one of her entries, her daughter gave a detailed account of three men who drugged and assaulted her in Dallas before she was taken to Oklahoma. 

“She says three individuals all raped her, in Dallas, over multiple days," Morris said. 

WFAA requested an interview with the DPD detective assigned to this case for an update, but was only provided the release and images asking for the public's help identifying the persons of interest. 

Morris said she has had trouble getting answers from the department and is frustrated with their response the day her daughter went missing and in the months that followed. 

“Just not being heard, and there being a lack of urgency," Morris said. 

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma, multiple people have been charged and even sentenced in this case. 

Initially, Oklahoma City police arrested eight people. The department says some of the people arrested were picked up on outstanding warrants from other cases, but three people were charged with multiple felony charges in this case. Two of them have already been handed prison sentences. 

Sarah Hayes, 33, and Kenneth Nelson, 44, both pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges. Those charges include manufacturing child pornography, distributing child pornography and human trafficking and conspiracy to commit a felony. Nelson also pleaded guilty to a child abuse charge. 

Hayes was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Nelson was sentenced to 12 years. 

A third suspect, Steven Hill, was with the teen when police found her. He faces a rape charge, and, unless he takes a plea deal, will have a jury trial that begins in April. If that happens, the Morrises expect their daughter will have to testify. 

"She knows there may be a trial, but we haven't told her the date in case he pleads out," Brooke Morris said. "We don't want to add to her anxiety if we don't have to."

Their daughter recently moved to a new treatment program that caters to victims of sex trafficking. 

“This is probably the first time where we feel completely confident and comfortable knowing that she’s in an environment where she can heal," Kyle Morris said. 

Brooke Morris said she wants two things: for her daughter to heal and for the type of justice in this case that would prevent the same people from doing the same thing to someone else. 

She said as long as there are people involved who are not in custody, the first part will be hard for her daughter. 

“Knowing that the people in Dallas have not been picked up and not even been spoken to by law enforcement. That scares her. She knows what they did to her, and she knows that they’re still out there," Morris said.

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