Human trafficking victim rescued in Ventura County after texting 911

Authorities rescued a human trafficking victim who was able to text 911 to authorities in Ventura County. 

Officials said the victim texted 911 asking for help in the early morning hours of May 9.  

The messages, which were translated from Spanish to English, indicated the victim did not know where she was and was unable to identify any landmarks or give any other information.  

Authorities were able to track the location coming from the cell tower signal and locate the victim after searching the Casitas Springs area for around 20 minutes.

An investigation revealed the victim was trafficked about two months ago from Mexico to Ventura County. She was evaluated and will be reunited with her family.

The suspect, Gerardo Cruz, was quickly identified and arrested. He faces several charges including human trafficking, forcible rape, and lewd acts upon a child. He remains in custody with bail set at $500,000.

If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, there is help available. Talk to highly trained anti-trafficking advocates at the National Human Trafficking Hotline by calling 1-888-373-7888, or by texting 233733.