True Crime

Teen who was drugged and sold to a sex trafficker tragically dies two years after being rescued

Over 20 million people are victims of sex trafficking every year

In 2017 13-year-old Leticia Serrano from Houston, Texas was drugged, abducted and sold to sex traffickers.

‘Letty’ as she was known as by family and friends, was later found in a neighbouring town Near Northside, Texas.

But her family have said she hasn’t been the same since and have continually advocated to end sex trafficking.

Speaking to ABC13 her grandmother Cynthia Rivera said ‘when we got her back she was already broken and addicted at that point. The road to recovery was and is one of the hardest things for any child to overcome.’

‘We got her back damaged,’ she added.

The missing persons poster
(Source: ABC 13)

Her godmother added that Letty’s abductor was freed less than a week after being arrested for her kidnapping and his release was hard on the entire family.

Praying of her weaknesses, Letty had run away from home twice since being rescued to be with her abductor.

On Saturday Leticia, 15, tragically died by suicide leaving behind her devastated family. 

Taking to Facebook Cynthia dedicated a page in Letty’s honour demanding the end of sex trafficking.

Her family are speaking out
(Source: ABC13)

‘We as a community and the system failed this young lady and her family once. Let’s not do it again,’ her post said.

Pleading for justice her whole family want to raise awareness about the prevalence of sex trafficking saying that there are more than 300,000 tracking victims in Texas alone.

Cynthia told ABC13 that she felt she had ‘let her down’ when discussing Letty’s tragic passing.

Letty’s father Mariano Serrano was also interview by ABC13 adding that he was broken and destroyed about what happened to his daughter.

‘Entire cities are becoming red light districts. It’s no longer just a centralized or isolated issue. It’s actually spreading across the nation,’ Micha Gamboa, executive of Elijah Rising (a non-profit organisation focused to ending sex tracking in Houston) said.

If you need help contact:

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 

Related stories