A father in Texas has been charged by authorities for selling his missing teenage daughter for sex.
The girl, kept hidden in a separate location, he was later resuced when she made an escape to a McDonald’s restaurant and called the authorities.
The Dallas Morning News reported that 31-year-old Steve Marks was charged with “purchasing or selling a child for sex,” according to jail records. His wife, Lila Miller, has also reportedly been charged for her alleged involvement.
According to documents relating to Mark’s arrest, he sold his daughter to a family in Elgin, Illinois, who planned to marry her to a 17-year-old male.
He sold her “so that the child would engage in sex acts and be involved in a common-law marriage to a male subject believed to be about three years older than the child,” arrest warrants alleged.
The family in Illinois did not pay the full price of $17,500 they had agreed to, and Marks allegedly made plans to sell the girl to another family, in Florida.
ABC affiliate WFAA8 reported that an investigation into the child’s disappearance began when the Texas Department of Protective Services reported her missing at the end of September 2017.
By January, authorities learned that Marks, who has seven children aged one to 14, was attempting to sell his daughter to the family in Florida.
When Marks was arrested, authorities questioned his own parents, Davy and Dorothy Marks, who both said they hadn’t seen the child in four months. During their interviews, Mark’s mother allegedly phoned her grandson, Miller Marks, at his home, where the child was being held to warn him.
As Miller Marks was leaving the home in Mesquite, the child was able to escape and call 911 from a nearby McDonald’s, Fox News reported.
Miller, Davy and Dorothy Marks have all been charged with interference with child custody. Steven Marks is being held at Rockwall County Jail on a million-dollar bond.
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