Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Missing Teen Held by Suspected Sex Trafficker: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 4 New York
    Police found a missing teenage girl being held against her will inside an East Harlem apartment.

    A missing teenage girl has been found safe after she was allegedly held against her will in a Manhattan apartment by a man accused of sex trafficking, police said. 

    There were two other women living inside the apartment at 1695 Madison Ave., though it's not clear if they were also being forced to stay there.

    Those women, ages 21 and 24, left the apartment Thursday by pretending to make an appointment in Connecticut, according to police. Instead, they went to the girl's mother to alert her that she was being held by a man in the East Harlem apartment.

    The girl's mother called 911 and police found the teen inside the apartment. 

    The girl and the two other women were taken to the local police station. Police said at least one of them had been forced into acts of prostitution.

    It's not clear how long the teen had been made to stay in the apartment.

    Neighbors were stunned.

    "No one would know. How would you know?" said one woman. "You could never know what your neighbors are doing. You think you live in a safe place and everyone's friendly, and 'good morning' and 'good night,' but anything could happen." 

    The suspect accused of holding the teen, 35-year-old Taye Ellerby, was arrested on charges of sex trafficking, promoting prostitution, criminal trespassing and endangering the welfare of a child. 

    Attorney information for Ellerby was not immediately available.

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