Teen girl escapes kidnapping nightmare
REDDING A sixteen-year-old girl from Sacramento was found on the streets of Redding on April 17 when she sought help from passers-by, and told them a horrific story. She said she had escaped from an apartment nearby at 1900 Hartnell, where she had been held against her will.
Redding police responded and took the young woman into protective custody. She turned out to be a reported runaway from Sacramento from early March of this year. According to Redding Police, she told investigators that she had been walking home from a party when she was confronted by a man, whom she identified as Melvin Derrell Baldwin-Green Jr. He forced her into his car, took away her cell phone, and drove her away, on at least a 2 hour drive to Redding. Also in the car was 21-year-old Tanisha Savannah Williams.
Baldwin-Green held her captive for over a month before she managed to escape. She said she was confined to two apartments, one on Olive Street, and one on Hartnell near where she was found. There were locks on the windows and doors, including the interior doors, all of which required keys to open. He also threatened to harm her if she tried escaping.
During her captivity, Baldwin-Green and Williams forced her to engage in prostitution in the two apartments. He told her she just had to raise a certain amount of money, and he would then put her on a bus back home. Williams was there to watch over her while he was gone, and to “mentor” her in the act of prostitution, as well has helping promote customers, and purchase supplies.
In fear for her life, the girl complied with their demands and engaged in sexual acts with numerous men, collecting money and giving it over to Baldwin-Green as demanded. She said that he also molested her himself several times during her imprisonment. And though she complied with their demands, she was of course never released, as that would have put the two kidnappers at risk of arrest. Baldwin-Green was no doubt very aware of the risk of letting her go. He was arrested in Sacramento on July 2, 2013 for PC 266A – taking a person for prostitution without consent. He was convicted and served time for that incident.
Once the young victim escaped, Redding Police began their investigation into Baldwin-Green and his accomplice. Last Wednesday they found an internet escort ad that they suspected had been placed by him. They called the number to set up an appointment, and saw him leave his residence, at or near the YMCA on Court Street, as he was now under surveillance. He picked up Williams at the Hartnell Oaks apartments, one of the places he had held the teenage victim. The two of them proceeded to the arranged meeting place at a hotel on Churn Creek Road. Williams left to meet the prospective client, and detectives arrested Baldwin-Green at 8:00 pm as he was about to leave. Their attention on him, Williams escaped without being detained. She did, however, turn herself in at 5:30 the next day, on Wednesday, May 15.
Search warrants were served at the locations on Court Street and Hartnell Avenue, and evidence was found implicating them both in prostitution and pimping. Both were charged with a list of offenses, including human trafficking, kidnapping, procuring a minor for sexual acts, child endangerment, child molestation, abduction of a minor into prostitution, pimping a victim under 16. Both are being held on one million dollars bail. Meanwhile, their victim has been returned to her family to begin a lifelong effort in healing.