Every day you could count on “Camille” and “Isabella” smiling and reaching their hands out to offer you a homemade tortilla at the local market. These young sisters, ages 13 and 10, worked hard to provide just a little extra money for their mom. Their dad had left them in Central America and they often struggled to have enough money.
A man in his mid-30s began showing up at the market, often days in a row. He took special interest in Camille. He would come by to talk with her and gain her trust, taking advantage of her vulnerabilities. He continued to groom her, and she liked the attention, since she did not have a father figure in her life.
He eventually invited Camille to his home. While hesitant, she was deceived to think it would just be a short visit to get an ice cream and treat. She brought Isabella with her. She could have had no idea what was about to happen.
The day that she walked into that predator’s house, her country issued stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. The predator would be able to easily hide the sisters there for weeks.
Camille and Isabella’s mother was extremely worried and heartbroken when they went missing. She contacted the police and filed missing persons reports. The equivalent of an Amber Alert went out.
Six weeks passed. These young girls were locked inside, being repeatedly exploited, raped, and filmed.
One day, the neighbor caught a glimpse of the young girls. She immediately sensed something was off; she had never seen girls living with this man before. She decided to call the police. The police immediately came to the scene and rescued the girls. Thanks to the mother’s report, Camille and Isabella were identified quickly.
The sick predator who exploited these girls was arrested. O.U.R. is currently supporting aftercare services for Camille and Isabella as they begin to heal together.
If something was going on in your neighborhood, would you be able to recognize the signs of trafficking and/or exploitation? Camille and Isabella were rescued thanks to the neighbor’s knowledge of the signs and quick action. Take O.U.R.’s free online training so that you can be ready to recognize and respond to danger.