Houston girl, 15, takes her own life after she was rescued from a sex trafficking ring but wanted to return to her captor ‘who got her addicted to drugs’ at the age of 13
Family demands justice for teen victim, want to see sex trafficker prosecuted
Leticia Serrano took her own life on Saturday after locking herself in the bathroom of her family’s Houston home
Letty killed herself came two years after she was abducted by an older man, a sex trafficker
Her family managed to find her after several days and bring her home, but they say she was not the same person
Since Letty’s rescue, she had run away from home twice to return to her former captor and wanted to be with him
Accused pimp and pedophile was released from custody after six days, family say
Family members of a 15-year-old sex trafficking victim from Houston are pleading for justice after they say the teen took her own life over the weekend, two years after being drugged and sexually abused.
Leticia Serrano, known to her loved ones as Letty, in May celebrated her 15th birthday with a lavish quinceanera party, complete with a ruby-red princess ballgown, bouquets of roses and a dessert bar.
Six months later, her father, Mariano Serrano, says his daughter locked herself in the bathroom and committed suicide as he desperately tried to reach her.
‘She wanted to be with him,’ he said. ‘But she also didn’t want to hurt her family.’
Letty was a high-achieving student at Marshall Middle School in 2017 when she was drugged and taken by the sex trafficker not far from campus, according to her father.
He said he, and Letty’s godmother, Cynthia Rivera, spent days searching for the teenager before they found her inside an abandoned home. They then took her to safety, and reported her captor to police.
“We were able to locate her and call HPD and have this animal arrested,” Rivera explained.
But Letty’s family said in a separate interview with KTRK that the girl they brought back home was not the same girl who had left.
However, she says, he was let go after a few days. The family adds after Letty’s abduction, she ran away from home twice to be with him. They believe the trafficker worked with at least three other men to move her around and drug her.
Rivera says they preyed on her vulnerabilities.
‘We got her back damaged,’ Rivera said.
Since her rescue, Letty had run away from home twice to be with her abductor, who the family say preyed on the teen’s weaknesses, including the fact that she was a loner at school and that her brother had recently died.
To make matters worse, Letty’s godmother said the sex trafficker was freed just six days after being arrested.
Now, Rivera and Mariano Serrano are blaming the unnamed man for Letty’s suicide and want him to face justice.
‘I want to see him in court,’ the Serrano says.
‘I want to tell him it’s his fault my daughter is dead.’
Commander Jim Dale is over the Houston Police Department Vice Division. He learned about Letty’s death Monday and he is taking steps toward reopening the sex trafficking case involving Letty.
“I have requested an interview with my investigators so we can reopen the case,” Dale said.
Meanwhile, Rivera has launched a fundraiser through Facebook to pay for her goddaughter’s funeral.