Police Fear Teen Last Seen at Haven Motel Abducted Into Trafficking Ring
6805 Woodhaven Boulevard in Rego Park, New York. The location is about five miles from LaGuardia Airport. According to neighbors, it’s a place you would be afraid to walk at night, let alone even imagine one of your children frequenting. Neighbors have complained for years there are drug deals and drug use on the premises, bed bug infestation, pimps, and prostitution.
In a Google Review, a man named Sablokote described the place as a good place for sex. Another wrote, “Yuck, yuck, yuck!”
“This place was nasty as hell. If you are looking for a place to do drugs or take a hooker this is it! OMG I was pissed. I felt dirty as hell by the time I got to the room. Then I hauled ass up outa there. They gotta do better, or be shut down,” wrote Kee E., on Google Reviews.
Complaints go back more than a decade, of neighbors claiming that prostitution and drug deals at Haven Motel were spilling out onto the street, along with condoms and drug paraphernalia.
Despite some crackdowns at Haven and other motels in the area over the years, it is questionable whether anything there has improved.
The Haven Motel was the last place anyone saw Corinna Slusser. The beautiful, bright 19-year old vanished with no contact with friends or family since September 20, 2017; Facebook and Instagram posts ceased suddenly with no activity since.
Two months after Corinna’s disappearance, the New York Daily News reported that police thought Corinna had been victimized by sex traffickers and likely shuttled between pimps and moved out of New York. However, they also believe there is a possibility she may have been killed in revenge for reporting a pimp for a physical assault. Almost a year has passed since the news of Corinna’s disappearance was a news headline. Her disappearance is still unresolved.
With dreams to become a makeup artist, Corinna had been a popular student and cheerleader for the Corn Huskers. She had friends and a social life prior to her disappearance but depression landed her in the hospital. There she met a 32-year old man who promised her a place to stay in the exciting city of New York. A naïve, adventurous and free-spirited teen, she left the hospital with only the clothes on her back.
After the move to New York, she maintained contact with her family and friends, regularly posting on Facebook and Instagram which she was very active. However, the photographs she began posting became more and racier, her eyes no longer shining brightly.
“Living in New York taught me so much and I’ve been here 2 weeks,” reads a Tweet on August 25, 2017. Seemingly life was good. She had told the family she had her own apartment and was doing
Corinna had been promised a new exciting life in New York City, according to her friends. However, they soon found out this was no Prince Charming who entered Corinna’s life. Yovanny Peguero was a “pimp” well-known to police out of Harlem. She began referring to Peguero as “Daddy” in her conversations, others look back on the “red flag” today.
Order of Protection
A month before Corrina vanished, her mother Sabina Tuorto, received a copy of an Order of Protection in the mail revealing Corrina had been assaulted on August 25, 2017, at approximately 1:00 a.m.
In the report it stated, Corinna had placed a 911 call from the Harlem Vista Hotel in Northern Manhattan and told police she had been assaulted by her pimp. She claimed Peguero also stole $300 from her and when she confronted him wanting it back, he grabbed her by the throat, smashed her head against the wall and began strangling her. When officers found her, she was crying and shaking inside the hotel room.
Upon receiving a copy of the order naming Peguero as the attacker, Tuorto contacted her daughter who played the incident down, although she did promise to attend her grandfather’s funeral and come home. She never arrived at the funeral and family decided to file a missing person report with NYPD.
Corrina’s last Instagram post has only fueled questions of whether Corinna is in the United States, as well as arguments from other Instagram users who disagree whether Corinna is somehow at fault for getting mixed up with drug lords and pimps. Others argue the only reason her case has received media attention is that she is a pretty white girl, while her family only wishes they could receive some sign she is still alive.
Corinna posted she was in the Bronx with the caption reading, “cyphin mid day road is always good for the soul.”
With police indicating she may have been shuffled in a sex trafficking ring, some are wondering if the picture is a cryptic message and possibly taken in South America. Corinna’s missing person case remains the subject of a desperate search by NYPD’s Vice Human Trafficking Team, who fears she may have been passed to other pimps since her disappearance.
The bigger picture
Corinna is one of an estimated 4.8 million human trafficking victims worldwide that are sexually exploited according to Human Rights First. Commercial sex trafficking nets $99 billion annually with the annual profits of each woman forced into sexual servitude at approximately $100,000.
According to Polaris, during 2017, the most reported trafficking cases involved escort services, followed by residential, and outdoor solicitation. The average age that trafficking began was age 19.
Sex trafficking involves forced or coerced sexual exploitation that is not limited to prostitution, and a significant and increasing problem in the United States and the larger global community. Sex Trafficking is an “umbrella term” that may include commercial sex work such as prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, live sex shows, mail-order brides, military prostitution, and sexual tourism.
Victims of sex trafficking can be of any age but the most typical are young women and adolescents.
According to the National Institutes of Health, most commonly, victims are promised a good job, education, even a false marriage proposal that turns into bondage. Many victims are sold into the sex trade by parents, husbands, significant others, whereas others are unwillingly and forcibly kidnapped by traffickers.
Sex traffickers maintain their control over victims through coercion and threats, such as threatening to harm family members. They may even kill others to show force. It is also quite common for traffickers to isolate their victims and move them to multiple locations. Introducing a victim to drug dependency is also a common tactic.
Corinna was coerced by Peguero, a pimp and sex trafficker. Regardless of why Corinna initially voluntarily left with Peguero, documented violence and intimidation was introduced into the relationship.
One tactic used by traffickers is traumatic bonding, where a victim is instilled with deep-rooted fear coupled with gratitude for being allowed to live. This definition of Stockholm Syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological dependency with captors as a survival strategy during captivity.
The Order of Protection was granted against Peguero and he was ordered to stay away from Corinna. However, some speculate Corinna may have been kidnapped and killed as revenge for her reporting Peguero.
When her mother reached out to Corinna after receiving a copy of the Order, Corinna told her mother she was ‘making a big deal out of nothing.’
Regardless of the circumstance, Corinna has been missing too long, each day becoming more painful than the last for Corinna’s mom. “I can’t bear any more days like this,” Tuorto said on Facebook. “I fear the worst, but I pray for the best and her to return home. I’m waiting for an angel to hear my prayer.”
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Corinna Slusser please contact the NYPD Vice-Human Trafficking Team at 212-694-3024.