Slavery is alive and well. 150 years after the US abolished it, human trafficking is now a $35 Billion a year global business. Every state in the US has a problem with traffickers, and the child sex trade is thriving. Runaways, smuggled kids from the East and South America, children taken from the streets and sometimes their own homes, and the demand for them is growing.
This is a story about what happens to these kids and adults, and the desperate attempts of law enforcement to find them and punish the traffickers and pimps. It is not easy. It is very hard to find the children and there are also many who are kept in private homes, hidden from the public eye.
Nobody witnessed the white Ford cargo van as it obeyed the traffic laws and made its way along Brentwood Blvd., in the town of the same name.
This wasn’t the Brentwood in the suburbs of Los Angeles that was made famous by O.J. Simpson. This was a small town in the East Bay of San Francisco, filled with fruit farms that invited people to pick their own every summer, and corn fields that the town held an annual festIval for.
No one was around as the van proceeded on its route. It was after all, only three thirty in the morning on a weekday, so there were no pedestrians, just an occasional tractor trailer making its way to the docks in Oakland.
As the van passed through the green light at the junction with Sand Creek Road, not slowing down, the side door opened and a woman was thrown out of it, hitting the pavement hard and making her roll several yards. No sooner had she been tossed out, the side door closed and the van continued on as if nothing had happened.
It was almost another hour before a perplexed truck driver who’d stopped for a red light, decided to investigate the unmoving bundle at the side of the road. After moving through the intersection, he parked up his trailer and slowly walked back, not realizing what it was until he was almost upon it.
“Oh fuck,” he exclaimed to the empty sidewalk, as he saw it was a long haired brunette, curled into a ball, and she wasn’t moving or making any noise.
“Oh fuck,” he repeated as he got very close to her, afraid of touching her. What he could see of her wasn’t pretty. She had cuts and scrape marks, blood and bruises. The driver didn’t know she’d been thrown from a moving vehicle, but she looked to be badly beaten up as he looked for signs of life and called 911.
The 911 responder made him check her for a pulse after she got his name and location, and his hand shook as he felt her right wrist. Her wrist was limp but he thought he detected a faint pulse. He hoped so. He didn’t want to be someone who found a dead woman.
The sirens were audible very quickly. The driver wasn’t aware that a paramedic station was situated very close to the location, and the police weren’t far behind along with a fire truck. The responder had sent everyone.
The medics arrived first and moved in quickly, asking questions that the driver couldn’t answer, giving the woman oxygen as they checked her out. Then the police arrived, two patrol cars, and the cops asked questions as the woman had protected splint pads applied to various parts of her body, along with a neck brace, and a drip.
When one of the cops asked the paramedics how she was, they replied that she was in a very bad way as they loaded her into their van and sped away, lights flashing, but no siren on the quiet streets.
As the truck driver was asked yet more questions, a couple of the cops shone their flashlights on the pavement, and when one of them seemed to find something, he called his colleague over who looked at whatever it was, and then they sectioned it off with crime tape.
Yet another cop arrived on the scene, and he looked over the truck driver’s cab with his flashlight, as the policeman who’d been asking questions, took the driver’s license to his car to check it out.
It wasn’t until a couple of crime scene personnel arrived and began putting numbered cards on the pavement, that the truck driver was allowed to leave after talking to a detective who had arrived. He saw the camera flashes and crime scene people in his side mirror as he started the truck up and pulled away, so glad that the woman was still alive.
Despite the efforts of half a dozen medical staff, she never made it out of the emergency room.
Once the autopsy was completed, it was determined that she died from blunt force trauma to her brain after being thrown, or falling, from a moving vehicle. The coroner also determined that she was approximately just twenty five years of age, and she had severe lacerations to most of her body, but not that would cause her death. She had cocaine in her system and needle marks, broken bones from the fall, facial damage, and bruises that were caused during and before the fall, both on her face and on her body. Despite being only in her mid twenties, she had the characteristics of someone much older with the bodily abuses.
The woman had no identity, her fingerprints had no match, nor was she carrying anything to shed any light on who she was. Not even a tattoo. Her DNA had been sent for comparison, as had her bite for dental records. Unless an I.D. was made from one of them, she would be a Jane Doe.
Jane Doe also had syphilis. It hadn’t been treated and she was slowly dying from it, but it was not the cause of her death. Her vagina and anal passageway had been severely abused from a very young age, perhaps as young as eight. The vagina had been so ravaged over time that she would never have been able to have children, and her anal passageway was also damaged and very enlarged.
The Coroner’s opinion was that she’d been raped repeatedly from a very young age, and had probably been working as a prostitute for the last few years. Once she contracted the STD, she either had to be treated or discarded once the disease got hold, and as she hadn’t had any medication from what he could tell, she was dismissed.
Jane Doe had been a sex slave, and as soon as she was of no further use, she was thrown out with the garbage