A 16-year-old girl died of an apparent overdose after a man kept her in a hotel room and forced her to have sex for money, according to the Greenville Police Department.
Anthony Jahmal Cox, 21, of 100 Kristin Drive, Apt. G-2, was arrested Tuesday and charged with multiple sex and human trafficking charges after authorities found the girl at the Baymont Inn, 3439 S. Memorial Drive. She died despite life-saving efforts, police said. Her name has been withheld.
Murder charges had not been filed on Wednesday. An investigation is ongoing and it is possible further charges could be filed against Cox and others who may have assaulted the girl.
Police were called to the hotel shortly before 10 a.m. Further investigation by detectives with the major crimes and special investigations units revealed the girl had been in an ongoing relationship with Cox and that he coerced her into prostitution, the department reported.
Arrest warrants said Cox recruited the girl with the intent that she would be held in involuntary sexual servitude. He provided the means to cause the victim to be held in involuntary sexual servitude and required her to perform sexual services for payment in a hotel room, the warrants said.
Cox convinced the victim that she needed to be held in involuntary sexual servitude by telling her it would provide them both with money, the warrants said.
According to warrants, Cox profited by compelling the victim to become a prostitute. He received a portion of her earnings from arranging a situation in which she may practice prostitution, the warrants said.
It’s not clear how long the girl was held in the room and forced into sex acts. The date of the most recent offense is Dec. 29 on the warrants, but the offense date charging Cox with statutory rape of a child 15 or younger is Oct. 29.
The girl’s 16th birthday was on Dec. 7.
Cox was charged with felony human trafficking a child victim, felony sexual servitude of a child victim, felony promoting prostitution for profit, felony statutory rape of a child 15 or younger and contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
He was jailed in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $3 million bond.
The Pitt County Medical Examiner’s Office is scheduled to conduct an autopsy in the coming days to determine a cause of death, police reported.
Cox was previously convicted on charges from 2015 for assault and 2017 for larceny.
Police are working to identify anyone who paid to have sex with the girl, GPD spokeswoman Kristen Hunter said.