Mexia, TX – A teacher from Mexia Junior High was arrested for trying to sell a teenage family member to men in Morocco.
The investigation began when concerned family members contacted law enforcement and said they thought that 8th grade reading teacher Amber Parker was trying to lure a minor relative to Morocco, WFTV reported.
"Family members got wind that Parker was going to try to lure this girl to Morocco," McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "It is a dastardly story, and it is trafficking at its worst."
In a statement, Freestone County Sheriff Jeremy Shipley explained that detectives from Freestone County had reached out to McClennan County investigators who specialized in human trafficking investigations for help.
Together they found online communication between the 37-year-old Parker and men who were interested in buying her teenage relative.
Sheriff McNamara said that Parker posted photos of the underage girl in lingerie and with her breasts exposed to advertise and find men interested in buying her, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Investigators said Parker then sent the men additional pictures of the girl and negotiated a price with them, according to WFTV.
Authorities did not report how much Parker was asking for the girl, but said they had been investigating the teacher “for months” at that point, the Star-Telegram reported.
Sheriff McNamara said Parker had flown to Morocco for a few weeks in December of 2018 to try to broker the deal with the men, KXXV reported.
When she returned from her trip on Jan. 1, the Freestone County Sheriff’s Office was waiting to take her into custody.
The girl she was attempting to traffic did not make the trip with her, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
The Mexia Independent School District (ISD) placed Parker on leave after they learned about the allegations and her arrest on Wednesday.
"Student safety is Mexia ISD's No. 1 priority," Mexia ISD Superintendent Lyle DuBus said. "We take these allegations seriously and we will be working closely with our partners in law enforcement. The district continues to monitor the situation and feels no students at Mexia Junior High were ever at risk."
Sheriff Shipley said Parker was arrested for trafficking of persons after conspiring to traffic a minor child to multiple male subjects online.
She remained in custody at the Freestone County Jail, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.