A woman accused of introducing a young family member to prostitution more than two decades ago failed to show Monday for a court hearing in Bowie County.
Della Lou Griffin, 52, is now a fugitive with an active warrant for her arrest. She came to the attention of law enforcement as part of an investigation into human trafficking that has resulted in multiple life sentences for one man, Kenneth Nelson, and a 130-year prison sentence for another, Charles Garton.
A third man, John Littleton, charged in connection with the case died before he could be brought to trial. Investigators have speculated that Littleton's death may have been suicide in testimony given at Garton's and Nelson's jury trials.
When members of the Texas Department of Public Safety's Criminal Investigations Division executed a search warrant on Littleton's home on Meadow Drive in New Boston, Texas, in April 2018, they discovered a video cassette tape labeled with a woman's name, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The tape was used to record Littleton sexually abusing an obviously underage girl on three separate occasions. Investigators were able to specifically date the first of the three recordings because a television news report announcing that Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce from Michael Jackson was captured in the background.
That announcement was made Jan. 18, 1996.
Investigators were also able to identify and interview the victim Littleton was abusing in the video. She confirmed that the girl in the video is her and that she was 14 when it was recorded.
Griffin allegedly introduced the victim to Littleton when she was 11 and accepted money from Littleton which he paid so he could have sex with the girl. The alleged victim reported that Griffin was a prostitute and Litteton was one of her clients. Griffin allegedly operated the video camera, was present during the sexual assaults and could be seen in at least one of the recordings.
Griffin and Littleton allegedly gave the girl alcohol and drugs before and during the assaults. Court records in Bowie County show Griffin has a prior misdemeanor conviction for prostitution.
Griffin was arrested for a single count of sexual assault of a child on Nov. 3, 2018, and released on a $25,000 commercial bond Dec. 15, 2018. She was scheduled to appear Monday afternoon for a pre-indictment hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell but failed to appear.
The missed court appearance could mean a new felony charge. The case has not yet been presented to a Bowie County grand jury.
Anyone with information concerning Griffin's whereabouts is asked to contact CrimeStoppers at 903-793-STOP.