Have These Children Been Trafficked?

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Hey, y’all, and welcome to Southern Macabre. I’m Aeryn and I’m so glad you could join me for True Crime Friday! Today I’m going to tell you about ten teenagers who have gone missing from a small town in the past seven months. If you remember, I started to tell y’all about these people last week but decided to do an episode all about them because something seemed off. 

Culpeper is located an hour and a half south of Washington D.C. and has a population of 20,062 as of 2020. I guess it’s more like a small city than a small town, but I haven’t been there in years. It’s near Fredericksburg so my parents and I went there pretty regularly, especially once I found out they had a used bookstore. Getting back to our story, Hispanics and Latinos make up 17% of the population compared to 61% white and 21.9% African American.

In the past few years, Culpeper residents’ concerns in regards to Human Trafficking have grown. That’s what I immediately thought of when I saw how many Hispanic teenagers were disappearing from an area that was considered safe just a few years ago. In case you don’t know, human trafficking is modern slavery and there are two types: forced labor and sexual slavery. 

A person who is being forced to work may be performing dangerous jobs without proper safety equipment, they likely are not being paid enough to live on their own if they are being paid at all, and they will not be properly cared for by anyone. They may be working on farms or in orchards, in restaurants, or almost any job where the employer doesn’t ask questions about who they employ.

Sexual slavery is exactly what it sounds like. These girls and women are making money for their pimp or trafficker without being paid. They will either work out of a location or be delivered to someone who has “hired” them by guards. If you see one of these children for sale please call the police. Do not buy them thinking you can help, that is extremely dangerous.

All of these children were living with sponsors and were likely the children of Guatemalean iimmigrants coming into the US illegally. Sadly, traffickers prey on these children because they are separated from their parents and they don’t know who they can trust due to language barriers and lack of experience.

Now I’m going to tell you about each of these children and I want to stress that you need to look at their pictures on Facebook or at www.Southern-Macabre.com. Sure, a couple of them could have run away, but I don’t believe ten kids are going to run away in a short timeframe without a reason.

Ingrid Ceferina Pana-Gualna was fifteen years old when she left her home and hasn’t been seen or heard from since July 5, 2021. She is 4’11” to 5’4” tall and weighs 112 to 120 pounds.

Edwin Giovanni Morales Velasquez disappeared on October 31, 2021 at the age of seventeen. He may be headed to Florida. He is 5’3” to 5’5” tall and weighs 131 to 136 pounds. 

On November 13, 2021, Ofelia Migdalia Gomez Perez went missing. She may be in Pennsylvania. She is also seventeen years old. She’s 5’ tall and weighs 115 pounds. She spoke to her guardian on the phone and said that she was with her boyfriend, Serghio Morales, in Pennsylvania, but they would return home soon. They haven’t returned and no one has heard from her since.

Serghio could be a tafficker pretending to be her boyfriend. This is a popular tactic in sexual trafficking cases.

Alexander Perez Mendez has been missing since December 3, 2021. He, too, is seventeen years old. He is 4’5” to 5’3” tall and between 100 to 107 pounds.

Did you notice the large gap in his height description? This likely wasn’t given by someone close to Alexander. Typically a parent or guardian would say something like  4’5” to 4’8” or 5’ to 5’3” tall. There wouldn’t be a difference of nearly one foot!

Juan Carlos Ical Pop snuck away from his uncle’s home on December 10, 2021. He’s seventeen years old, 5’2” tall and 130 pounds.

Nelson Chub Tzi left his uncle’s residence on December 13, 2021. He is sixteen years old, 5’3” to 5’5” and 120 to 150 pounds.

Edgar Yovanni Ax Tun left his residence carrying a basket of his clothes one week before Christmas in 2021. He is 17 years old, 5’2” to 5’4” and 120 pounds.

Fredy Gustavo Xi Ical was last seen getting into a grey sedan on February 7, 2022. He was living with his aunt in the Town of Culpeper. He is thirteen years old, 4’9” tall, and weighs about 90 pounds.

Wendy Fabiola Matilde Cucul Caal is a seventeen-year-old girl who also disappeared from Culpeper in February 2022. She was last seen at dinnertime on the 10th, but she left after everyone went to bed. She is 5’ tall, and between 103-110 pounds.

Fredy Alexander Rax Quib went missing from February 21, 2022. He left his cousin’s home and might be headed to Alabama. Fredy is also seventeen years old, 5’ to 5’2” tall, and weighs about 130-150 pounds.

If you think you recognize any of these children, remain calm and do not approach them. If they are a victim of human trafficking they may not realize it and if you say anything about it to them their trafficker may harm or kill them. Go to an area away from them and call 911 or your local police department.

While we are on the subject of human trafficking, I want to tell you how you can protect yourself and your children. Traffickers are smart and they know how to lure your kids, most of the time they are not going to snatch them and drive away. They’re going to promise them money, expensive gifts, etc. They don’t mind taking their time and earning a prospective victim’s trust.

I had an underage family member who is obsessed with a twenty-six-year-old celebrity and she was so excited when he private messaged her on Snapchat. He sent her “private” pictures that weren’t on social media and insisted that he thought she was beautiful and wanted to meet her in person. She’s a very, very smart girl, but she believed his lies.

Fortunately, when she told me about it I asked her why would a successful man risk everything to pursue an underage girl. She thought about that and remarked that he had plenty of women close to his own age, he didn’t need to go looking for minors. She blocked him and is wary of strangers the way she should be online.

If you are being trafficked then you should call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 888-373-7888. 

I am going to do an in-depth episode on human trafficking soon because this is a huge, worldwide problem and it needs to end. I will tell you survivor stories and share all of the information I can find so that you can stay safe and share it with others. I don’t want to take away from these ten children who may need help so I want to keep the focus on them as much as possible.

Thank you so much for tuning in today! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to post this episode on Monday, but I wanted to give y’all as much information as I could. There will not be an episode on Monday the 28th because I will have a special guest joining me on Wednesday. You are not going to want to miss it!

It’s not paranormal, but it is macabre. Jon Flannagan is going to tell y’all about his unique artwork that goes beyond your average painting. He did live in a haunted house down in Mobile, so maybe he’ll tell you a ghost story at the end. You’ll have to tune in to find out!

I hope y’all have a fantastic weekend and I will talk to y’all again on Wednesday the 30th. God bless, y’all!



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