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Three missing girls found in car with fugitive, police say

vmargineanu/iStock
vmargineanu/iStock

(ROSEBURG, Ore.) — Three girls reported missing in Washington state have been found in Oregon with a California fugitive, who is now facing human trafficking charges, police said.

Police officers made the discovery early Thursday morning while observing a suspicious vehicle parked in the vicinity of the Roseburg Regional Airport in Oregon’s Douglas County. The officers stopped the vehicle, which was a rental car, and made contact with a man and three girls inside, according to a press release from the Roseburg Police Department.

The officers soon discovered that the man, identified as 41-year-old Maurice Pierre Hurth of Suisun City, Calif., had multiple warrants out for his arrest in the Golden State. The fugitive was arrested on those warrants after a “brief resistance,” police said.

After further investigation, police learned that the three girls were recently reported missing from a youth group home in the Seattle area.

The trio, who are all under 18, were taken into protective custody and transferred to the Douglas County Juvenile Shelter in Roseburg, Ore.

Police said that evidence gathered from the probe led to Hurth being charged with three counts each of trafficking in persons, compelling prostitution and first-degree custodial interference, as well as one count of encouraging child sex abuse in the first degree.

Hurth is being held at the Douglas County Correction Center in Roseburg, Oregon, as the investigation continues, police said. It’s unclear whether he has obtained an attorney.

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