The young men who escaped from The Refuge and later died were helped by the staff

A new report claims that a treatment facility for victims of sex trafficking may hold some of the blame for the death of a girl who stayed there.

A young girl identified only as “RR” placed in Bastrop’s “The Refuge” escaped a home visit and died in a car accident two months later.

RR was killed in a car accident just two months later; The accident occurred in Alvarado, Texas, about 180 miles from Bastrop,” the report said.

Federally appointed monitors charged with overseeing Texas’ foster care system and ensuring it complies with court orders say they received emails alleging the girl planned her escape using an asylum employee’s phone.

This is the first time that a young person has died in refugee care.

said Brock Crowder, founder and CEO of Sanctuary.

Crowder went on to say that the organization had updated its procedures after several escapes in 2021.

The facility has come under fire since an employee named Isha Green was accused of taking nude photos of girls at the facility in exchange for money.

“We hope that the authorities will devote the same attention to arresting the perpetrator who is still at large 130 days after we reported her for exploiting young people in her care,” Crowder said.

Initial reports from the Department of Family and Protection Services (DFPS), which the facility contracts with, indicate that the girls have been trafficked. DPS then stated that it found no evidence of trafficking. Lawyers contested this, and other reports of court monitors indicated an error in the investigation.

The new report again indicates that the DFPS has not thoroughly looked into the issue. One of the girls included in the incident used the phones of an employee to repost photos already saved to her social media accounts. DFPS found that it was without the employee’s knowledge.

The new allegations about RR were raised in a letter to Director of Public Safety Steve McCroe of Gina Hinagusa — the state legislator — and the deputy chair of the House Human Services Committee.

The DFPS did not investigate the death or the allegations in the letter, stating that the girl was not in their custody. The death was viewed as a facility issue, which should be investigated by the Health and Human Services Commission. HHSC licensing facilities used by DFPS.

The death of the 17-year-old is punctuated by what court documents show was a violent and tragic life.

When she was a child, DFPS officials said in 2005 that RR’s parents continued to use methamphetamine careless supervision.

She was sent to Oklahoma to stay with her paternal grandmother when she was eight years old. R said R. After that, her parents abandoned her. She was sexually assaulted almost immediately by her uncle – the husband of her grandmother’s sister. These abuses continued for eight years before appearing when she was 16 years old.

“RR said her great-uncle raped her, gave her money and gifts in an effort to prevent her from revealing the abuse, and videotaped at least one incident using his phone,” according to the report.

At this point, RR was thought to be using methamphetamine and prescription medications.

State officials did not remove her from her grandmother’s custody.

In June 2020, still 16 years old, RR assisted four adult men between the ages of 24 and 36, with a young man robbed. Two of the men were accused of killing the young man and leaving his body in a cornfield. It was discovered a month later.

When she was captured, she was sent by juvenile watch to The Refuge in April of last year. In earlier reports on The Refuge, the girl who was placed in the facility was concerned about having to testify in a murder case.

After a few short months, RR was granted residence with her paternal grandmother. The two stayed in a hotel in Bastrop. But that night, her grandmother woke up to find RR gold. She stole her grandmother’s phone and a $300 gift card.

The girl allegedly planned to escape with her mother using the phone of a staff member.

“I understand that the minor was able to plan her escape through the alleged enlistment of the assistance of an asylum official, who allowed [RR] To use the employee’s phone to communicate with him [RR’s] mother, who eventually helped her escape,” said an excerpt from an email from Rep. Hinojosa.

The report did not say how. The next time she was seen by state officials, she was trafficked for sex.

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Human Trafficking Unit identified an online sexual advertisement for [RR] who seemed to be in the North Texas area.”

At the time of her death on the roadside outside Alvarado, Texas, RR was with her mother, grandmother, mother, and another girl who had also escaped from The Refuge two weeks earlier.

The second girl who was only described as DD has escaped from the shelter a few times.

Court observers said: “The mere fact that two children were able to escape the process, six weeks apart, and later met after both reverted to human trafficking, appears to merit investigation.”

Many of the fugitives at The Refuge, which is not a closed facility, were kept for very short periods of time.

its a problem A cycle where fugitives are statistically more likely to be trafficked for sexTrafficked and traumatized children are more likely to flee. Study 2019 It found that 19% of children in foster care in Florida reported eloping at least once. Among 17-year-olds in Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, nearly half said they ran away at least once while in the system.

Court observers said the DFPS’s response to the case shows a lack of concern regarding the allegations and implied loopholes in the state’s investigations into The Refuge, where unruly events appear to be a “systemic” problem.