Shelter runaways being pulled into human trafficking

The problems at Davenport Shelter began long before a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped after running away from the state licensed housing facility for troubled girls on Detroit’s east side. 

According to state records, The Department of Health and Human Services launched a number of special investigations into the shelter dating back to 2011. 

Davenport has been flagged for a number of violations ranging from inadequate staffing, overcrowding, a lack of supervision that allowed residents to have sexual contact with one another and the alleged sexual assault of a girl who ran away from Davenport and had been missing for a week in March of 2018. 

FOX 2 went to Spectrum Child and Family Services in Westland, the company that operates the shelter, and were told to leave. Our calls and requests for an interview went unanswered. 

“I'm very upset and it's totally heartbreaking just to see the story on the news and to know my baby girl is there and I can't do nothing about it right now,” said Iesha Riley who has a goddaughter placed at Davenport. 

Riley’s 10-year-old goddaughter was placed at Davenport in September and has ran away several times. 

According to state records, Davenport has been cited for not having enough staffers to keep girls from leaving the shelter. 

Police say 2 girls were nearly taken to Georgia to be sold for sex after running away from Davenport in January. One of the teens says she was raped. 

“I keep running it in my head that them girls had got rescued from being on they way shipped to Atlanta,” Riley said. “Anytime she walk out the door, she go to the left of walking out that door, it's a neighborhood. Big vacant houses. Any kind of predator could be right there.”

There are nine sex offenders living within a quarter mile of the shelter, according to the state’s sex offender registry. There are nearly a thousand within 5-miles. 

“When I was over there, I've seen guys pulling up. Sitting in front of there in front of the door like they waiting on girls to come out,” Riley said. 

The Department of Health and Human Services opened another investigation into Davenport after our reporting on the 2 runaways back in January and the confrontation with the staffer about the problems there.