San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s officials say two people have been arrested in connection with a human trafficking investigation that began in January.
On Jan. 26, 2021, sheriff’s officials say members of the San Luis Obispo County Counter Human Trafficking Team came across an online sex ad in which the female featured appeared to be under the age of 18.
Sheriff’s officials say investigators set up a “date” with the female, and upon making contact with her, determined she was a missing 15-year-old girl from Nevada.
At the same time, investigators reportedly identified a man in the area who was believed to be trafficking the teen.
Sheriff’s officials say he tried to flee the area but was ultimately detained.
They were reportedly able to connect the man, identified as Joshua Diante Murphy, 26, of Madera, to the teen but there was no probable cause for his arrest at the time and he was released.
Upon further investigation, sheriff’s officials say they were able to identify two other suspects who they believe, along with Murphy, had conspired to traffic the 15-year-old and distribute child pornography.
On March 18, warrants were issued for their arrests.
The following day, Heather Lynne Hunt, 28, of Tipton and Tremaine Quincy Tejon Jones, 27, of Bakersfield were taken into custody.
Hunt was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of human trafficking of a victim under 18, obscene matter depicting a minor for commercial consideration, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Jones was booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime and other unrelated charges.
Bail for both is set at $1 million.
Investigators are still looking for Murphy.
He faces charges of human trafficking of a victim under 18, pimping of a prostitute under 16, lewd act with a child aged 14 or 15, obscene matter depicting a minor for commercial consideration, and conspiracy to commit a crime.
Anyone with information about Murphy’s whereabouts is asked to call the San Luis Obispo County Counter Human Trafficking Team at (805) 781-4589. Anonymous tips can also be made by contacting Crime Stoppers online or at (805) 549-STOP.