A 17-year-old who was kidnapped by a high school soccer coach in Sacramento, courageously escaped from her kidnapper on Christmas morning. The suspect was later arrested from his home with human trafficking charges. Authorities are now claiming that he may have kidnapped and sold other young girls as well.
Authorities receive a disturbing call on Christmas morning
It was 3 a.m. on Christmas morning when the deputies received a disturbing call from a 17-year-old girl claiming that she had been kidnapped and fallen victim to human trafficking and intimate assault. The young girl told the 911 operator that she had miraculously escaped from her kidnapper who was armed with a gun and now she was hiding in the backyard of a nearby house.
There was a sense of urgency in the young girl’s voice as she pleaded for help saying that her perpetrator knew that she had escaped and was now looking for her. The teenager was making the call from a home in South Sacramento’s Clover Manor Way. When the deputies arrived at the location, they found the 34-year-old suspect named Elan Seagraves in his driveway with another teenage girl who was also a victim of human trafficking. The Sherriff’s Department in Sacramento is in utter shock over the incident.
High School soccer coach turns out to be a human trafficker
The authorities discovered that Seagraves had been working as a coach for several local soccer teams in his area and was even employed by John F. Kennedy High School as a soccer coach. The school’s official website showed that the suspect had coached the men’s junior varsity soccer team in 2013 and the women’s junior team in 2014 in West Campus.
When the kidnapping incident occurred, Seagraves had already started a new season as the coach at Kennedy High, as confirmed by the director of the Athletic Department. After his arrest, the school immediately stripped him of his title as the girls’ soccer coach but he was still listed as the coach for the men’s team on the school’s official website. Later that afternoon, his name was removed from the website completely.
His job as a high school football coach only earned him $2,029 a year which is why he had a number of side-jobs including coaching other local teams in the city and working as a driver for Uber and Lyft. Seagraves’ Facebook account shows several photos of him with different girls and boys soccer teams and some have even speculated that his decision to work with young females must have been driven by his secret criminal activities involving kidnapping and selling teenage girls.
Banned from Lyft and Uber
Apart from coaching, Seagraves also held the position as a substitute teacher in Sacramento City Unified School District according to reports from the sheriff’s department. In the wake of Seagraves’ arrest, a statement was released by the School District condemning his actions and saying the school is extremely disappointed and shocked by his unacceptable behavior.
They also made it clear that the school had performed a thorough background check on the coach before hiring him and had found no suspicious activities or prior offenses. The statement also announced that Seagraves was no longer allowed to work with the school children at any cost.
Lyft also made a statement saying that they were deeply disturbed by the allegations and would willingly help the authorities to provide any information they need on the suspect. Both Uber and Lyft have disabled Seagraves’ accounts but the authorities say that the allegations had no connection with his driving or coaching job but they are investigating to find more possible human trafficking victims who could have fallen prey to Seagraves’ activities.
Camera footage reveals evidence
A camera on Clover Manor Way’s street had also captured the footage of the 17-year-old victim running to escape from her kidnapper and knocking on the neighbors’ doors for help. Finally, a woman named Vihn Ta, opened her door to let the girl in.
After hearing her story, Ta let her use the telephone to call 911 and help was soon on its way. During her call, Ta heard the teenager saying that another one of her friends had persuaded her to go with Seagraves that night but she had no idea what she was getting herself into. The 34-year-old suspect has now been put behind bars and charged with several felonies including human trafficking and false imprisonment.