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Grandmother calls police just in time to save granddaughter from sex trafficking suspect

Kenneth Barnes
Kenneth Barnes (Photo courtesy of the Clay County Sheriff's Office)

A man is locked up for his role in a case that authorities believe to be linked to sex trafficking.

57-year-old Kenneth Barnes was taken into custody by authorities in Clay County after attempting to take a local juvenile female to Little Rock, Arkansas. The suspect reportedly kidnapped a 15-year-old female in Arkansas and brought her across state lines to lure the other minor.

Investigators tell WTVA that the local juvenile’s grandmother received a call from someone stating that her granddaughter was about to be picked up by an uncle — one that does not exist — elevating concerns. The grandmother then rushed home and notified police before Barnes could arrive at the residence.

The Mississippi teenager lived in Arkansas before coming down to the Magnolia State to live with her grandmother. She allegedly had some affiliation with Barnes during her time in Little Rock.

Barnes is accused of sending the unidentified juvenile money through phone transactions and indicating that she would be earning even more financial compensation if she went with him.

Police were able to catch the suspect before he could get to the teen or escape Mississippi. He is now charged with kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Those charges are expected to be elevated to sex trafficking ones.

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