WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Sex trafficking in Wilmington is a bigger concern than most people would imagine.
"I can show you 50 or 60 advertisements for escort services, which we know that that is, you know prostitution," a new Hanover County Detective who investigates the majority of these cases explained. "Here in Wilmington, I can show you 50 or 60 that have been posted since 8 a.m. this morning."
"Some of the victims that we've had in cases that are minor victims, they are being exploited at night and going to school during the day and no one is the wiser," Assistant District Attorney Lindsey Roberson explained. "No one knows what is happening to these kids."
How it often starts might surprise you.
"He says, 'How are you?' 'Mind if I get to know you?," said a New Hanover County Detective who investigates the majority of these cases.
Pimps and sex traffickers are now using popular social media sites and apps to recruit girls without ever meeting them in person first.
"A lot of the cases that I have had when we have gotten the records back, there has been thousands and thousand of messages that have been sent out through social media," said the Detective.
Bailey Hicks will explain what sex trafficking looks like in Wilmington in this digital age and how pimps use social media to recruit girls and then exploit them in a special report Thursday night on WECT News at 6 that you won't want to miss.