A 16-year-old Milwuakee girl has been returned home after being sold into sex slavery in Chicago, her mother said.
Armoni Chambers had been missing for more than a month. She was last seen on May 17th.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, activists received a tip about a disturbing Facebook video which showed Chambers being assaulted by a man.
Chamber’s mother, Bonnie Bruno, and activist Tory Lowe, traveled to Chicago to find her. She was found by local activists and taken to the hospital before she was reunited with her mother.
“Her entire time in Chicago was trauma after trauma after trauma,” Bruno said. “She was afraid. She thought she was going to die.”
Bruno said her daughter was lured to Chicago by someone she met online.
Milwaukee police classified her as “critical” and notified the public of her disappearance June 18.
Bruno and Lowe scoured areas of the city known for high rates of prostitution.
After Milwaukee police released Chamber’s information to the media, a tip from a caller said she had been seen on a Greyhound bus bound for Chicago.
Lowe’s activist network scoured social media and provided tips, including one from a dollar store employee who remembered seeing Chambers and giving her a change of clothes.
“She is home, she is safe, she is loved,” Bruno said.
Bruno said a person her daughter met online sold her for sex, as well as beat and drugged her to keep her from escaping.
Bruno blasted Milwaukee police for allegedly giving her little support. She said she pressed police to declare her daughter “critically missing” because of concerns over her mental health, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“I was told, and I quote, ‘Well, she’s gone missing before, maybe she’ll come back,’” Bruno said. “I believe if my daughter was a white girl, they would have taken all my leads seriously.”
“They really dropped the ball on this one,” she said of police.
Milwaukee police defended their investigation.
“Members of the Milwaukee Police Department have worked diligently with the mother and have followed up with the information provided to the agency,” police said in a statement. “Once MPD’s Sensitive Crime Division received information from the mother that indicated the victim was at risk, she was then categorized as a critical missing.”