The investigation into the potential human trafficking of two Filipino women at a Saudi diplomatic residence in McLean is one of two types of cases common in Northern Virginia, says Fairfax Police Detective Bill Woolf.
"We also see it in forms such as restaurants or hotels, work for extended hours for poor housing conditions or low pay," says Woolf.
More detectives are a seeing criminal gangs recruiting on social media or kidnapping young girls from malls to be used as prostitutes, says Del. Barbara Comstock. She says the girls are often trapped and involved in gang rapes.
Activists such as Sara Pomproy say they need help from the public to alert authorities about potential victims.
"Girls that are being trafficked or boys that are being trafficked are usually followed by a pimp or attacker," says Pomproy. "If you see a house with men going in and out of the house in the middle of the day, that's a little mysterious."
The Virginia legislature has made it easier to go after human traffickers and stiffened penalties for the demand side, says Wolf. "It now makes it a felony for an individual to buy commercial sex from an underage person."
That law goes into effect on July 1.