Friday, May 9

2 girls, 1 clerk

We occasionally receive faxes regarding Amber Alerts, notifying us of missing or endangered children (usually having something to do with custody disputes, I have noticed), or advising us of dangerous felons in the area, so it wasn’t unusual to get a fax of that nature my Monday night. Our fax machine has been acting up lately, and it was a few hours into my shift before I got anything to print. Amidst all the advertisements for cheap motel furniture or landscaping companies was a notification of two missing minors/possible runaways from Springfield (adjacent to Eugene). It was addressed to all the motels in the chain of our persuasion, stating that the two young girls (thirteen and fourteen years old) had been sexually assaulted, then left town with two different older men, and were possibly staying at one of our Portland area locations. I read the descriptions carefully, then returned to staring blankly out the front windows of the lobby. Three minutes later, two girls walked past, out of the parking lot, and lo and behold, they actually matched the descriptions. No way. Disbelieving and beside myself, I checked the flyer again, then walked out to see where they were headed. Once I saw that they were going into the Taco Bell across the street, I went back in and checked the security cameras to figure out which room they’d come from. Miracle of miracles, the girl who’d checked them in had actually gotten their names, and they matched those of the missing girls. Way!

HOLY SHIT, I thought, maybe I can actually be of help in keeping yet another couple of underage girls from a life of prostitution! I first called the Springfield PD to verify that it wasn’t in fact a prank to harass fellow hookers (this happens often; one will get angry at another, then call or fax us to let us know there’s something going on), and as soon as they verified the information, I called Portland PD.

Unfortunately, the girls never did return from Taco Bell, and I never did save them from a life on the track. When the cops finally arrived, they spoke with the gentlemen in the room, and told them that it’s just not a good idea to take minors two hundred miles from home, even if they tell you they really need a ride and a place to stay. The cops asked me to watch out for the girls, because though the men said that their moms had picked them up, it all seemed pretty sketchy. Sometimes you win them, and sometime you lose them; here, we mostly lose them.

Update: There actually was a better resolution to the story. When my co-worker came in on her next day, she didn’t check my notes from the previous night, and on seeing the flyer, called one of the girls’ mothers, whose number was on it. The mother told her that she really had picked them up from Taco Bell the night before. The sketchy dudes were telling the truth! The girls did make it home! They’re not hookers—at least, not yet! Yay!

1 comment:

hutchdeluxe said...

Yay, you are sort-of a hero!