For years, it has been a grim but generally tolerated characteristic of Bakersfield’s Union Avenue. Throughout the Eisenhower years, the six-lane boulevard just east of the city’s central commercial district was the community’s neon-lined gateway – a little Las Vegas that greeted motorists with an unmistakable salutation, in vivid blue letters.

But today Union Avenue – a half-mile stretch of it, anyway – is the gritty, dismal domain of Bakersfield’s sex trade.

“The Blade” explores the story of three young girls — two of whom are dead — who walked Bakersfield’s most infamous street as victims of human trafficking. Robert Price joined 17 News at 5:30 for more on the mysterious cases — including that of the 14-year-old pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run crash back in September — and what you can do to prevent human trafficking.

For more on The Blade, click here.