COLUMBIA, MO – A couple in Missouri have been arrested after police say the woman prostituted her severely disabled 14-year-old daughter in exchange for money and drugs.

Last year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received a tip regarding the disabled teen “being left in hotel rooms with strange men.”

The tipster told investigators the teen has a mental capacity of a two- or three-year-old and suffered from cerebral palsy, autism, and deafness.

They said the girl was being left alone in hotel rooms with strange men for long periods of time.

Police immediately took the girl into protective custody and learned what was going on with the girl and these men in these hotel rooms and why.

Allegedly, the girl’s mother, 49-year-old Renee Collins, and her mother’s boyfriend, 44-year-old William Thomas Jr., were prostituting the girl in exchange for money and cocaine.

The teen told police she had been raped by men after they offered Collins cocaine and in one instance, the “bad men” put a needle in the girl’s arm and injected her with “medicine” after they were done raping her.

She also identified her mother’s boyfriend as one of the “bad men” and said that he had raped her as well.

Warrants have been issued for Collins and Thomas on charges of sexual trafficking of a child and endangering the welfare of a child creating a substantial risk. At the time that I type this up, neither were in custody.

Nanette Ward, founder of Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition, said that trafficking cases like this happen every day. She went on to add that while identifying and rescuing victims of sex-trafficking is paramount, sex-trafficking is tough to stamp out because it is a supply and demand type industry.

“We can’t just look at this terrible criminal and this poor victim, but there is a demand to purchase and there’s a willing body of community members who are willingly going in and wherever it is,  a hotel or wherever it might be, and paying in some form, something of value, to the trafficker and raping,” Ward said.

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