A 17-year-old female victim of human trafficking was rescued from downtown San Bernardino on Aug. 13, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators from the San Bernardino County Human Trafficking Task Force were contacted by an investigator from the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, requesting assistance in locating an "at risk" missing juvenile. The victim was possibly in the downtown area of San Bernardino. The Riverside investigator indicated the juvenile may be a victim of the commercialized sex industry.

Using information provided, San Bernardino County Human Trafficking investigators began searching throughout the downtown area. Through investigation, they directed their investigation near the intersection of Rialto Avenue and E Street.

Detectives and deputies from Sheriff's Central Station assisted and after several hours, Task Force members noticed a female sitting in a car at a nearby parking lot. The female fit the description of the missing victim. Investigators contacted the victim and confirmed she was the missing girl from Riverside County.

She was transported to Sheriff's Central Station for an additional interview. During the interview, investigators discovered information confirming the juvenile was recently victimized through commercial sexual exploitation. The victim was provided access to services and resources before being safely returned to her family.

Although investigators were able to successfully locate and rescue the victim, they have been unable to identify the suspect(s) involved in her exploitation. This case is still active and ongoing.

The Sheriff's Department said that community involvement plays an integral part in the fight against Human Trafficking, and law enforcement appreciates and encourages the assistance and information provided by the public.

Anyone wishing to report activities or concerns related to human trafficking in the county can do so directly by calling (909) 387-8400 or by email at humantrafficking@sbcsd.org. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME or leave information at www.wetip.com.

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