Years ago, as a private investigator I was fortunate to solve many missing persons cases, but the child abuse cases were most disturbing.
About nine years ago, son Jack and I were walking just a block from my apartment above the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio when a young teenage girl approached me.
With sincerity, she asked for some money because she needed bus fare to get back to Corpus Christi because a boyfriend beat her up the night before at the hotel they had been staying at.
Her plight and request seemed scripted. As I asked her questions about it, she became nervous, looked behind me and walked away. So we followed her without her knowing.
The next day I saw her near the bus station soliciting money from others. This confirmed my instinct so I reported to the downtown police bike station located on the first floor of my building.
On the third day, camera in hand, I took her photo and that of her “boyfriend,” a man who looked to be in his late 30s-early 40s. The police followed up and while there was no evidence of prostitution yet, the man was grooming her for it. He was arrested for an array of charges.
After posting an article about 150 missing children found in Tennessee in Jan-Feb. 2021, it prompted me to move forward with this article.
Pay special attention to any person, especially a child, who is…
- Unusually fearful, anxious, or submissive, or showing signs of physical abuse.
- Monitored, controlled, or guarded by someone else at all times, or who is prohibited from interacting with others.
- Unaware of what city they are in or unable to explain the purpose of their stay.
- Not in control of their own money or documents.
- A child in a suspicious circumstance, such as being alone at a hotel.
Additional Warning Signs
- Has injuries or other signs of abuse and is reluctant to explain them.
- Appears malnourished.
- Branded or marked with a tattoo, such as a man’s name, symbol of money, or a barcode.
- Dressed in a provocative manner or in the same clothes, regardless of weather or circumstance.
- Has very few personal possessions.
- Has an unexplained, sudden increase in money, clothing, or possessions like jewelry without explanation.
- Doesn’t carry identification.
- Has a number of hotel keys or key cards.
- Claims to be an adult, though their appearance suggests adolescence.
- Seems to move frequently from place to place.
- Talks about an older boyfriend or sex with an older man.
- Has inconsistencies in their story.
- Claims to be visiting, and can’t state what city they’re in or for how long.
- Isn’t able to speak for themself.
- Has sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.
- Is not enrolled in school or is consistently absent.
- Seems to be withdrawn, depressed, or “checked out.”
LACK OF CONTROL
- Accompanied by someone who seems to control their every move.
- Seems scripted in the way they speak.
- Doesn’t have control over their own money.
- Can’t come and go from place to place on their own.
- Not in control of their identification or travel documents.
Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.