JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As a family works to find justice in the death of their loved one, who they said was a victim of sex trafficking, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams and other law enforcement agencies made a push to stop human trafficking.
The initiative, announced Thursday at Florida State College at Jacksonville, could prove vital in solving the murder of Destiny Dennis, an out-of-state woman recently murdered in Jacksonville. According to Williams, his officers have free 38 victims of sex trafficking in the past year.
The arrests include Roosevelt Glee, a man accused of trafficking women for sex between Jacksonville and the Carolinas.
"In some cases, not every case, it takes several attempts to get the victim to cooperate because they are in a place where they are being manipulated and controlled by the traffickers," Williams said.
The family of Destiny Dennis believes her death was the result of sex trafficking. They believe she was being controlled and owed a man money, and family members struggled to speak with her on the phone.
"He was really trying to keep her from talking to us.," said Marcus Dennis, Destiny Dennis' father. "She was definitely trying to get away from him."
Kristin Keen, who runs the Jacksonville organization Rethreaded, works with human trafficking victims. She said money, drugs and romance are some of the ways traffickers exert power over their victim.
"Sometimes they'll take all their information, and the trafficker controls all the money, and the money will be doled out," Keen said. "The trafficker will say, 'Since I bought you all this, you owe me this money.'"
The Sheriff's Office said Destiny Dennis' death investigation is active and ongoing. A statement from police reads in part:
"Investigators are looking into all aspects of this case and will look at all avenues in an effort to bring this investigation to a resolution."