Two recent police reports have local families questioning whether they had a brush with human traffickers.
The first incident involved 18-year-old Kennedy Stokes, who said she and her cousin were approached by two men at a Walmart on November 21, reports 10TV. Stokes said the men tried talking to them several times and felt they were following them.
The next day, Strokes was experiencing car problems on her way home. She made it to the entrance of her apartment complex and got out to check under the hood. That’s when a man approached and began grabbing at her.
Stokes noted he was wearing gloves and appeared to have a box cutter in his hand, reports 10TV. She was able to escape his grasp and suffered scratches on her chest.
Stokes believes it was one of the men from Walmart.
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The second incident happened 14 miles away at a UDF on Indianola on the same day Stokes said she was attacked, reports 10TV.
A mother and her 12-year-old son were filling up at the gas station. She then went inside to pay, leaving her son in the locked vehicle.
When she returned, she said her son was visibly shaken up. He told her a man was yanking on the door handle, trying to get inside the vehicle. According to 10TV, the man didn’t say anything, he only looked inside at the boy.
A security camera captured the incident, and police are currently reviewing the footage.
Both incidents have those involved wondering if they narrowly escaped a case of human trafficking. 10TV reports police are investigating both reports, including identification of suspects and motives.
For more on human trafficking, visit humantrafficking.ohio.gov.