St. Tammany Sheriff's Unit finds missing juvenile from Houston

SOURCE: MGN

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. (WBRZ) - A missing juvenile from Houston was found in a car with three illegal aliens near Mandeville Friday morning.

According to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Randy Smith's Highway Enforcement Unit potentially saved the young female juvenile from becoming a victim of human trafficking.

Authorities said a St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's deputy was patrolling on Interstate 12 near Mandeville early Friday morning. The deputy stopped a red Honda Civic with a Texas license plate for traveling with their high beams/bright lights on, authorities said.

During the traffic stop, the deputy discovered the female juvenile inside the vehicle was reported missing by the Houston Police Department on Jan. 5, 2017.

Also inside the vehicle were three adult males, authorities said. All three were discovered to be illegal aliens from Guatemala, according to the Sheriff's Office.

All three of the illegal immigrants were taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents, authorities said.

The female juvenile was taken to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office in Covington.

Authorities from the Houston Police Department were contacted and arrangements were made for the young girl to be safely taken back home, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Authorities said that no criminal charges have been filed at this time, but there is an ongoing investigation.

St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said in a press release, "We are uncertain of the circumstances that occurred in Houston, and not sure what the intentions were of these three men, however, we are happy that this young lady is now safe and back home with her family."