East Peoria, Ill. — A local woman is on edge following what she said was a frightening experience. She asked that we do not disclose her name for safety reasons.
Thursday, she shared her story on Facebook detailing what she said could have been a sex trafficking attempt in the parking lot of the East Peoria Kroger.
Below is an excerpt:
She writes after parking her car and before opening the door a van pulled up beside her.
“They don’t see me looking at them. I see the door on the side of the van slightly open up,” she wrote. The woman said negative thoughts began to flood her mind. “My heart started pounding automatically,” she said. “I just went blank, my body froze.”
She said if she was preoccupied and not paying attention the situation could have ended differently.
“I think that If I [had] opened my door with their door slightly open they would’ve been ready to take me in, snatch me just that fast,” she said.
Detective Brian Despines with the East Peoria Police Department said people can be abducted in a matter of seconds.
“You [want to] pay attention to what is going on around you,” Despines said. “You [want to] see where you are at and who is around you and what is going on so that if something does happen you are able to give the officers a good report of what’s going on.”
He also adds that an important part of being observant is paying attention to signs.
“It could be someone staring at you, it could be [someone] sitting with their lights off at the end of the street in your neighborhood, it could be a vehicle consciously circling your gas station that you work at,” Despines said.
According to the latest Trafficking in Persons Report, traffickers are robbing 24.9 Million people of basic freedoms and human dignity.
He said while some may feel situations like these are not worth reporting, your story could save someone else’s life.