Three people are in custody in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a woman who was forced to work as a prostitute while being beaten, burned and held captive in cheap motels in Westminster and Costa Mesa, police from both cities said Tuesday.
The Westminster Police Department forwarded information to surrounding law enforcement agencies on July 23 about the possible kidnapping and human trafficking of a woman by a man identified as Renice Davis, who also had an outstanding warrant for a parole violation.
Investigators developed more information that Davis may have been with a woman named "Sierra" and that both had last been seen leaving a Westminster motel with the kidnapped woman in a white Dodge pick-up truck, according to a statement from Costa Mesa Police Lt. Greg Scott (on behalf of both agencies).
Westminster cops swooped down on the motel but it appeared everyone left, according to the statement, which indicates police were able to get a license plate number for the truck.
Then, just after 6 p.m. Monday, the Costa Mesa Police Department received a call from someone in another state reporting that a woman known to them had sent a Facebook message stating she was being held captive and tortured in a Days Inn motel room on Newport Boulevard.
Officers arrived to find a man and two women in the room–and they recognized them from the previous information Westminster Police had provided the week before. Renice Stevenson Flores-Davis, 26, of Costa Mesa, and Sierra Rose Thompson, a 27-year-old whose last known address was in Oregon, were arrested. A 26-year-old with obvious injuries–and whose name is being withheld because she is a presumed crime victim–was taken to Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach for treatment of burns and contusions.
The white truck was missing, but investigators learned it may have been driven off by a second man. The truck was later spotted by a police helicopter at the Starr Inn motel farther north in the 2600 block of Newport Boulevard. Arriving officers found the driver, Oscar Gonzalez-Salinas, with two females who apparently had no involvement with the kidnapping, according to police. Gonzalez-Salinas, 33, of Costa Mesa, was also taken into custody.
Detectives learned from the female victim that she had previously met Davis at a Costa Mesa motel for a drug transaction but that she was subsequently forced to work as a prostitute for him in various areas of Orange County. She was with with Davis, Thompson and Gonzalez-Salinas in a Westminster motel, where Davis allegedly became angry with her, kept her tied up and often blindfolded in a closet and physically assaulted her intermittently.
Besides beatings and verbal threats against her and her family if she fled or contacted police, the woman said she had been tortured by Davis, who burned her with a heated glass narcotics pipe on various areas of her body, adding that at the Costa Mesa motel the accused pimp inflicted a larger and more severe burn with a hot electric clothing iron.
At the time of officers first made contact with her at the Days Inn, she's obviously suffered recent burns to her torso and other areas, contusions and a blackened eye, according to police. After her release from the hospital, she was taken to a shelter.
The three suspects were booked into Orange County Jail and charged with kidnapping, mayhem, torture, human trafficking and conspiracy charges. Davis was held without bail because of the parole violation, while Thompson and Gonzalez-Salinas were held in lieu of $1 million bail each.
The case against the trio is being coordinated with the Human Trafficking section of the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Anyone with more information that can help investigators is asked to contact Detective Bang Le at 714.754.5361 or Sgt. Ed Everett at 714.754.5395.