Two men from Waterloo Region and a teenage boy from Huron County face 19 charges after police say officers rescued a Stratford teenager from the hands of human traffickers.
According to investigators, the incident happened earlier this summer when the trio used social media to lure a Stratford teenager into what the city's deputy chief of police calls "a world of human trafficking."
Mike Bellai says the three suspects' plans were thwarted when the teen saw an opportunity for escape.
"Actually the individual was able to call police," Mike Bellai said. "Somehow they got access to a phone, obviously, and call police and police responded."
"It was pretty brave on their part," he said.
Bellai said the three suspects face 19 charges, including human trafficking, procurement for the purposes of prostitution and forcible confinement.
He said police are still looking for a fourth suspect, but at this point, they're not sure where that person is and hope news of the incident will uncover some vital clues in the ongoing investigation.
Right now, Bellai wants to stress that teens should report any suspicious online offers, especially from strangers to police.
"We just want people, especially young people, to be cautious in using social media and if something sounds too good to be true, phone us and we'll certainly help if we can," he said.