What began as a search for a missing girl ultimately led to the discovery of the largest sex ring in Alabama history.
In 2012, Brittney Wood, 19, was reported missing. She was believed to have been with her uncle Donnie Holland the last night anyone saw her alive.
Holland, who was reportedly under investigation for sex crimes at the time of Brittney’s disappearance, was found dead days later from an apparent suicide by gun shot.
The investigation into Brittney’s disappearance uncovered more than expected by authorities.
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An incestuous sex ring was discovered, with child abuse dating back three generations in two families that merged when Donnie Holland married Wendy Wood, Brittney’s aunt, reports The Inquisitr.
Holland is believed to have been the manager of the sex ring.
“Donnie was the manager. He’d say, ‘I’ve got this child and this adult, come on over,'” said Nicki Patterson, Mobile County Assistant District Attorney.
Why child welfare workers did not pursue charges, following multiple complaints about sexual abuse in the family over several years, remains a mystery.
“You’d be surprised how many of them had prior allegations. Nothing happened,” said Teresa Heinz, an assistant district attorney in Baldwin County, Alabama. “You have to wonder what wouldn’t have happened to these children if something had been done. And Brittney might still be alive.”
So far there have been eight arrests of Brittney’s family members and three family friends -- all charged with felonies in relation to the sex ring.
Authorities claim the incestuous sex ring shared children for group sex, reports the New York Post. When the children were not being molested, it is believed they were forced to watch their relatives partake in orgies.
Brittney was likely a victim, and could have been a key witness.
“Brittney could have been huge,” said prosecutor Teresa Heinz. “She could have corroborated so many things.”
Brittney is presumed dead, although no trace of her body has been recovered. No charges have been made against a person for her disappearance.
Two of Brittney’s uncles and an older brother have pleaded guilty to sex charges, and a friend of Holland was convicted of multiple sex charges in the first trial related to the uncovered sex ring.
Chessie Wood, Brittney’s mother, is accused of having sex with a young female relative and is awaiting trial.
Chessie denies any wrongdoing, but does admit that some of her closest relatives are guilty of abusing children, including her daughter Brittney.
“There are innocent people in this and there are guilty people in this,” Wood, 39, said. “I don’t know how the judicial system is going to figure it all out because they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed.”
Chessie also claims she did not know what was going on in the family until after Brittney’s disappearance.
“The No. 1 thing here is to find Brittney. The No. 2 thing is to get all these sick (people) off the streets,” Chessie said.
It is unknown how many children were involved in the sex ring, but the number is estimated to be between 11 and 16. The children could have been as young as 3 or 4 when their abuse began.
Photo Source: New York Post