A 17-year-old girl found stabbed to death in an upscale Yorba Linda neighborhood Tuesday was a victim of human trafficking in Santa Ana about two weeks before she was killed, authorities said.
Officers identified Aubreyanna Sade Parks as a victim of human trafficking during a crackdown on prostitution in Santa Ana.
Marsalis Joseph Smith, 26, was arrested on Jan. 21 and is charged with multiple counts of human trafficking, pimping and pandering. Smith was in jail when Parks was killed.
At the time of the arrest, Parks was turned over to county social service workers, said Santa Ana police spokesman Anthony Bertagna. The Orange County Register reported that she was taken to a shelter but walked out in the following days.
Her family reported her missing to Gardena police on Jan. 28, said Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast.
According to prosecutors, Larry Soo Shin, 35, of Yorba Linda began communicating with Parks early Tuesday morning and asked her to meet him in Yorba Linda. When she arrived, he allegedly stabbed her and left her body on a grassy area in the neighborhood, prosecutors said.
Lt. Jeff Hallock, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, said it was too early to say whether there was a connection between the human trafficking case and Park’s slaying.
The investigation is ongoing, he said.