Trafficked teen girl found under blanket in car on Mackinac Bridge

ST. IGNACE, Mich. — A Michigan man is accused of human trafficking after a teenage girl was found under a blanket while they were crossing the Mackinac Bridge, authorities said.

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The 38-year-old man from Comstock Park, whose name has not been released, was arrested by the Kent County Sheriff’s Human Trafficking Task Force on Nov. 12, WLUC-TV reported.

The agency received a tip in October about a 16-year-old girl from Grand Rapids who was being trafficked, WOOD-TV reported. Authorities said the suspect befriended the girl “in a public area” and then trafficked her using online posts, according to the television station.

Deputies received information that the teen was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and possibly with the suspect, WOOD reported. While the man was driving across the Mackinac Bridge on Nov. 12, a toll worker saw a person hiding under a blanket in the back seat of the man’s vehicle, according to the television station.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority notified the police, who stopped the vehicle after it crossed the bridge into the Upper Peninsula, WLUC reported. The man was arrested and booked into the Cheboygan County jail, according to WOOD.

“KCSO received information that the teen was in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and possibly in the company of the man,” the Kent County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. “Information was broadcast to northern Michigan authorities and an observant staff member for the Mackinac Bridge Authority saw the male driving and a person hiding under a blanket in the back seat. The Mackinac Bridge Authority summoned law enforcement and the vehicle was stopped after crossing the bridge.”

According to the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, the suspect is expected to be charged with sexually abusive activity, human trafficking, possession of child abusive material and using a computer to commit a crime, WEYI-TV reported.

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