My Ignorance Almost Got My Child Kidnapped
My little girl was almost taken from me in a matter of moments. My carelessness and thinking that it'll never happen to me almost ruined my child's life. I am telling you our story through tear clouded eyes today in hopes to open the eyes of parents across the nation.
My son and my husband were out for the day, they had gone to a hockey game that someone gave them tickets for. It was just my daughter and myself at home. We muddled around the house much of the morning. We cleaned the kitchen, did the dishes mopped the floors and folded the laundry. When Miley became fussy from a combination of boredom being tired I put her down for a nap.
While Miley was napping I began getting things ready for the upcoming week. I began making a shopping list of things that I needed from the store for various occasions throughout the week. I hoped Miley would not be cranky when she woke up so we could go to the store and get some other errands done.
Human Trafficking is Very Real in the United State
n 2012 the (UNODC) United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports the percentage of child victims had risen in a 3-year span from 20 percent to 27 percent. Of every three child victims, two are girls and one is a boy.
600,000 to 800,000 women, children and men bought and sold across international borders every year and exploited for forced labor or commercial sex (U.S. Government)
How Our Nightmare Began
Miley woke up in a great mood, so I was super excited to get my errands done and be ready for the week to start. I gave Miley a quick snack, got her dressed for the park and ushered her and her doll out the door and into the car. Miley hates shopping so even with a great mood I still had to bargain with taking her to the park.
This was hopefully going to go smoothly and quickly so we could go to the park before Miley became irritated with being in the stores. We stopped at the pharmacy first, I needed vitamins for Trevor and Miley and I needed allergy medication for myself. We were standing in the vitamin aisle, and I was reading the label on the vitamins as I heard Miley giggle. At first, I thought nothing of it, because she giggles so easy especially when her brother is with us.
After about thirty seconds it dawned on me and I thought out loud "Oh shit Trevor isn't with us!". At about that moment Miley giggled again. That is when I spun around quickly to see what Miley was giggling at, and that's when I noticed him.....
A middle-aged man sitting in a chair in the waiting area, he was making faces at her, wiggling his fingers and smiling. Hence the reason that Miley was giggling when there was no reason for her to giggle. Normally she would not pay attention to something like that, but Trevor wasn't there to occupy her. I didn't think much of it, I just made sure that she was close to me and not wandering off.
What Happened Next
As I decided on their vitamins I grabbed Miley's hand and switched aisles to find allergy medicine. Again I am reading labels and Miley is at my feet. I feel her holding the leg of my shorts and resting her head against my leg, After a few moments of standing there Miley pops her head up.
I look down at her and can see that she is smiling. I am thinking what on earth is going on with this child. I pick my head up and look out of the corner of my eye, and there he is. The same middle-aged man from the waiting area. He is smiling and waving at Miley again. That was the point I became slightly curious about him. I just waived and smiled back at him.
Human Trafficking can happen to anyone
Human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms
Trafficking will surpass the illegal sale of drugs in the next few years
I put the allergy medicine that I was reading back on the shelf (and probably not in its proper spot) and grabbed Miley's hand to start walking to the front of the store. As we enter the check out area I notice the same man walking out the front door (with nothing in his hands). I pay for the vitamins and pick Miley up and leave the pharmacy.
It's Not Over Yet
As we walked out the door of the pharmacy I took a quick scan of the parking lot to make sure I didn't see the many anywhere. We only needed to walk down a few shops to the five and dime store. I needed a few things for Trevor for school and a few things for their craft box. I looked over my shoulder before we entered the store and didn't notice the weird man, so dumb me figured that we were okay and he was gone so I didn't put Miley in a cart and just let her toddle beside me holding my hand.
As we walked up and down the aisle browsing and getting what we needed I felt Miley latch onto my hand a little tighter. Low and behold there was the man from the pharmacy. At this point, I was becoming creeped out by the man and I was beginning to feel that he was following us.
I left the Aisle that we were in to basically test my suspicions. I walked through a few aisles carrying Miley because I wanted to see if he would follow us. He didn't so I began to drop my guard just figuring it was a coincidence. Miley was being so good through both stores that I decided to let her pick out a baby doll. Not that she really needed yet another baby doll, but for a child who can't handle one store without a meltdown she handled two stores and a creepy man.
We walked through the first toy aisle, and no company had appeared yet. As Miley was picking out her baby doll here comes the creepy man again. This time he stopped and stood next to us and bent down. He picked up a doll and asked Miley if she liked the doll.
I scooted closer to Miley and urged her to pick out a baby doll. That is when the man spoke again, this time to me. He commented that Miley was a beautiful little girl. I simply replied thank you (that was just another mistake of many that I made that day.) Then he asked how old she was because she is so well behaved.
As I began to respond this time I thought better of it. I scooped Miley up, picked out a doll for her and headed to the check out. As I was checking out the man made his way to the front and checked out too. He had the baby doll he picked up standing next to us and a couple of other toys. He lingered as he checked out at the register next us.
I should have approached the manager about this man at this point but stupid me, I just ignored the man and figured that we would never see him again. He disappeared out of the store and out of sight. I was dumb enough to just assume that he was gone. I never thought to report it to protect my child or anyone else from this weirdo.
At the Park
We had finished running errands, and Miley was so good in a situation that normally would have made her miserable to death with. So to uphold the promise that I made with Miley we headed to the park. We went to the small park near our house. I figured it was close to home and away from the shopping center.
Miley had me push her on the swings, went down the slides, and Miley climbed through the tunnels. Finally, she sat down in the sandbox and started to play, she wanted to build the biggest sandcastle she had ever built.
Miley is such a sweet child that I struggle with the fact that what happened in the next few minutes could have been worse and it could have been prevented. What could have happened next could have taken my baby from me, her innocence could have been stolen and it all would have been my fault.
Miley played in the sandbox for about 10 minutes when she asked to get a drink. I told her that we could walk to the fountain and get a drink, she took off to get her drink before I had time to get up from where we were sitting. There wasn't anyone around so I didn't think much of it. I mean the fountain was only about 30 feet away from where we were playing in the sandbox.
As she approached the fountain I got this eerie feeling, at that point I had closed half the distance on her. Out of nowhere this man appeared and snatched Miley up. He snatched her up under his arm and tried to run off with her. I was horrified and my adrenaline started pumping.
Miley began screaming and flailing which I believed made it difficult for him to run very well or very fast. I ran after them as soon as he touched her, I managed to catch them rather quickly and stop him. I used the pocket taser that I always carried with me when at the park. Once he dropped my little girl I dialed 911 and neighbors around the park heard the commotion and come running over to our aid.
Ultimately the man was arrested for attempted kidnapping once the police arrived. I recognized the man as the man that had been following us around the stores before us coming to the park. The police believe that when he left the last store he waited in the parking lot until he saw what vehicle we went to and he followed us. They saw no other vehicle around but mine so they also suspect that he wasn't working alone. They feel that when whoever was working with him saw or heard the commotion they took off.
Currently, this horrible man is awaiting trial for attempted kidnapping, kidnapping, and human trafficking. He's behind bars but that doesn't make me rest any easier. Luckily as of now, Miley shows no signs of trauma from this whole ordeal. However, I am not sure that my trauma will ever be gone.
The guilt that I feel over what happened and what could have happened to my baby is tremendous. Both of my children mean the world to me and to lose one of them would be like losing myself. It would devastate me, to a point I am not sure that I could recover from.
Every day I think about how my stupidity, ignorance, and carelessness almost cost me one of my children. I have read stories about children being crept on in stores and always said it would never happen to me. I always thought that my podunk small was too safe for something like this.
Guess I was way wrong, no town is too safe for kidnapping and human trafficking. No child is safe from being abducted, and my story is living proof of this. My child was 15 feet away from me. The man probably would have attempted to take her in one of the stores if she hadn't stayed so close to me.
I am Begging you
Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and sisters I am begging you to be attentive to those around you in public. Don't let go of your children, don't let strangers talk to them, don't let people hug them keep them close and watch them at all times. Please if you ever suspect someone is stalking you through a store, alert management so they can help you. Call the police report it to someone save your child or another child. Please, people, don't make my nightmare your reality. Keep your children close when out and about and always keep them safe.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 escritor loco