A Milwaukee teen believed to have been abducted by sex traffickers in May was found safe Wednesday in Chicago by her mother and activists who reportedly spearheaded the missing persons case.
The girl’s mother, Bonnie Bruno, said she suspects sex traffickers lured Armoni Chambers, 16, to Chicago after connecting with her online. Though Chambers was last seen in Milwaukee on May 17, police didn’t inform the public of her disappearance until June 18, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“I had to fight so hard for that,” Bruno said of her dealings with local police. “They really dropped the ball on this one.”
Early on, Bruno reportedly combed a local area known for prostitution but didn’t find her daughter. She said she believes that her daughter was already being trafficked by that point.
Shortly after Milwaukee police listed Chambers as “critically missing,” Bruno said that she got a tip indicating that video surveillance footage caught Chambers boarding a Greyhound bus in Milwaukee.
Bruno and local activists went to Chicago, where they reportedly encountered a Family Dollar cashier who claimed to have seen the missing teen. Surveillance footage from the store showed that the teen’s hair had been cut, according to the newspaper.
However, it’s a Facebook Live video that was likely crucial in locating Chambers. On Wednesday, footage surfaced reportedly showing a man groping a disoriented Chambers, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or some drug. Chicago-based activists found the teen hours after the Facebook livestream.
Bruno has given the media permission to publicize her daughter’s name and pictures in hopes that their story educates other parents about human/sex trafficking.
Bruno said of her daughter Friday, “She is home, she is safe, she is loved.”
[Featured Image: Armoni Chambers/Milwaukee Police Department; Facebook video screengrab]