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Maryland’s Most Wanted | Man sought after child escapes possible human trafficking

A Baltimore child narrowly escapes being trafficked across the country, and now the U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for a man wanted in connection to the case, officials said.

Ramon Ruiz, 31, of Baltimore, is wanted for second-degree rape.

It’s a disturbing case involving Ruiz and his wife, who is accused of planning to send the child to a man in California, officials said.

“In this case, all of the underlying factors are indicative of human trafficking,” said Al Maresca, Deputy Marshal with the U.S. Marshals Service.

On July 4, police are called to a home in south Baltimore’s Brooklyn community.

A 14-year-old girl had been missing for days, and her parents received information she was at this location.

“When police arrived on scene, the girl’s father explained that he saw his daughter through the window,” Maresca said.

According to court documents, police enter the home and are met by the homeowner identified as Jessica Sanchez-Centeno, 43.

As the woman is talking with officers, investigators said the child appears from a back bedroom.

“The child had gone through tremendous trauma,” Maresca said.

The story began days prior when the child ran away from home because she was upset with her mother over a cell phone.

According to court documents, the girl told police a friend put her into contact with the friend’s aunt, Sanchez-Centeno, who agreed to take her in.

The documents detail that the woman is not really her friend’s aunt but rather an acquaintance of her mother.

The child told police Sanchez-Centeno picked her up in a church van, and this made her feel a little more comfortable. But, during the ride, the child said she becomes concerned when the woman told her she can send her to a friend in San Diego.

It was one of three times the child claims the woman said this to her or was heard saying it over the phone, documents said.

At the house, the child told investigators Sanchez Centeno placed her phone on ‘Do not Disturb’ and instructed her to not make any calls, send any texts, take any pictures or post anything to .

That night, according to court documents, the child said the woman’s husband identified as Ramon Ruiz sexually assaulted her in the couple’s bedroom as she was sleeping.

“When she stays there overnight Mr. Ruiz decides to digitally penetrate this poor child,” Maresca said.

The next day, the child told police Sanchez Centeno took her to buy an outfit for church, but that the dress and heels were inappropriate.

Also, at the store, court documents detailed the child said Sanchez Centeno went live on Facebook and began showing her to the woman’s followers.

“The child says that the woman goes on Facebook live and is talking to another Spanish male,” Maresca said.

According to investigators, the child heard the following conversation;

“Who is that girl right there?”

“That’s the girl I’m about to send to you.”

“Oh, she is pretty. When are you sending her?”

In court documents, the child told police the woman then said she didn’t know when and had to first return the church van and purchase a rental car.

“She talks about sending this one out to San Diego. So in this case all of the underlying factors are indicative of human trafficking,” said Maresca. “The child becomes very upset and obviously she realizes that her life could potentially be in danger.”

The child told police she later manages to call a family member and the next day police arrive at the couple’s home in Brooklyn.

“They prevented this child from potentially being shipped across the country,” Maresca said.

Sanchez Centeno has since been arrested.

But not her husband.

Ruiz has been on the run for nearly three months and now the U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for him.

“If they have no problem young women and sexually assaulting them who knows what they’re capable of,” said Maresca, speaking to the larger, nationwide problem of human trafficking and the dangers that exist right here at home.

“This situation is extremely, extremely dangerous. These individuals need to be brought to justice,” Maresca said. “Make sure you keep your children close and maintain a good relationship with them. There’s always a predator out there waiting to take advantage.”

He’s described as standing at about 5’8” and weighing about 180 pounds.

If you have any information about his whereabouts you’re asked to contact the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-877-WANTED-2 or contact Maresca directly at 202-819-5058.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original location.

ABOUT

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.

 

EYES ON TRAFFICKING

This “Eyes on Trafficking” story is reprinted from its original online location.

ABOUT PBJ LEARNING

PBJ Learning is a leading provider of online human trafficking training, focusing on awareness and prevention education. Their interactive Human Trafficking Essentials online course is used worldwide to educate professionals and individuals how to recognize human trafficking and how to respond to potential victims. Learn on any web browser (even your mobile phone) at any time.

More stories like this can be found in your PBJ Learning Knowledge Vault.