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Investigators: Murdered Texas teenager was likely human trafficking victim

SHERMAN, Texas – Authorities in Texas are investigating the murder of a teenager who is believed to be a victim of human trafficking.

“She was taken by force by an unknown black male from the Midland-Odessa area,” said John Graham, an investigator with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials with the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office say they began investigating 17-year-old Mikayla Mitchell’s case in July when she jumped out of a vehicle and ran for help.

Investigators say Mitchell ran to a convenience store in Merkel and told the store clerk that she had been assaulted.

Throughout the investigation, authorities say Mitchell was not very cooperative but they found disturbing images on her phone that made them believe she was being trafficked for sex.

Mitchell was returned to her family, but she didn’t stay long.

“Apparently, Mikayla left the next day, left her mother’s home,” Graham told KXII.

Mitchell’s mother, Jennifer Diamond, told KXII that Mikayla wouldn’t talk about what happened to her and was worried about her family’s safety if she stayed with them.

Six days later, Mitchell’s body was found in a Dallas pond.

“She had been murdered and she had been in the water of that park,” Graham said.

So far, no arrests have been made in her case. However, authorities have identified a person of interest in her kidnapping and murder.