Marietta Police bust a human trafficking operation at a Northwest Parkway hotel--and rescue a young girl in the process.
The investigation was prompted by a 911 call before dawn on Monday, August 20. Police warrants say the 15-year-old caller was a runaway.
Marietta Police Officer Chuck McPhilamy details what the girl told dispatchers: "She had just gotten out of a hotel room where she was being forced to have sex with older men, and that she was told if she left that she would be killed."
According to the warrants, in her interview, the teenager said she was at the hotel between August 17 and August 20, where three men came to have sex with her. She says she was paid $80 for intercourse.
"They had lured this 15-year-old to this hotel room and set up a advertisement to offer up her to have sex with men for a price," says McPhilamy.
Based on her statements, police secured search warrants for two Days Inn guest rooms at 2191 NW Parkway, and made four arrests.
Detective Mark Erion's warrants allege that Douglas White, 26, recruited the teen to work in his prostitution business and Kenneth Thomas, 22, helped "procure" a prostitute for another, also "keeping a place of prostitution." White and Thomas are said to have handled the money.
All four suspects were arrested and booked into Cobb Adult Detention Center that evening facing the following state charges:
Erion also detailed that a 22-year-old woman identified as Kamari Bolden did the child's makeup, took photos of her, posted online escort ads, and set up "dates" for the girl to have sex for money. A 17-year-old named Laura Waugh allegedly posed for pictures with the younger teen, offering a "two-girl special."
McPhilamy says the police chief and the department commend the younger teen, whose life was threatened, for having the "tremendous courage" to call 911. It is unclear how she managed to get out of the room, or whose phone she used.
"If it weren't for the courage of this young woman reaching out to 911, as well as the community's ability to trust us as a local police department and cooperate with us and share information, crimes like this might go unsolved," McPhilamy says. "We have huge admiration for this young woman, and hope and pray for a speedy recovery for her."
The investigation is still active, and anyone with additional information related to this is urged to contact Det. Mark Erion at (770) 794-5363.