CNN -- Family members say a 12-year-old girl was lured into the sex trade through Facebook.
Now, they're sharing their story to help parents spot the warning signs online.
Crystal Whalon and her family never thought Facebook would lead to danger for their 12 year -old.
"You could just tell she had been through a lot, been through hell on earth."
Whalon says about a month ago her niece who lives in Houston started chatting online with strangers. After several weeks she was lured by a predator who invited her to a show.
Her parents told her no but she went anyway, then the unthinkable happened.
"Basically they brought her to an undisclosed location and she was pimped out like a prostitute."
The girl was missing for 48 hours.
Whalon says they were able to track her down thanks to the GPS on girl's cell phone. They say it saved her life.
"I had no clue this was even going on in Central Texas. I thought it was a third world country situation."
APD Detective Joe Pridgeon says online child predator cases are on the rise.
He's seen children as young as 8 years-old send nude text messages and pictures via the internet.
"The big stereotype is there's one type of child that engages in this behavior. That couldn't be farther from the truth. All children are at risk.
The investigation into Whalon's case is on-going. It's sensitive, and involves other children. Two of them are in protective custody, including her niece.
So far, no arrests have been made.
She has this advice to other families: "Stay engaged. stay close to your youth. don't think this couldn't happen to your child."