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Monday, June 29, 2015

Serial Killer or Human Trafficking? Chillicothe and Scioto County Links

Six women have disappeared. Four of them have been found dead. As talk in a small central Ohio city, population 23,000, turns to the possibility of a serial killer or killers, the FBI has joined the case, trying to figure out who or what is happening to these women.

Some were sex workers, most had problems with drug abuse and at least three were addicted to heroin, according to ABC News.

"They all ran in the same circle -- the drug scene and things like that," Chillicothe Police Sgt. Ron Meyers told the Huffington Post.

"They've all lived similar lifestyles. We know they all have drugs addictions -- heroin being the drug of choice for most of them. Also, some prostitution issues in their lives -- so we know that's kind of a link,” Chillicothe Police Officer Bud Lytle said.

(Joe Rosemeyer. "Missing Chillicothe women: Who or what is killing women in small
central Ohio city?" WCPO Cincinnati. June 25, 2015)

It is time to face reality. The public has an important obligation to ALL community members. That obligation is to respond to help the victims of crime no matter their lifestyle or their addiction.

I cannot imagine the huge public outcry if these women had not carried the stigma of being people struggling with terrible personal demons. Although many have answered the call to help, many others show much less concern when so-called "secondary citizens" are victims of criminal acts. The fact is that all of these women are human beings seeking a fruitful existence -- each is an essential piece of the community in which they live. Their peril must be a top concern for all of us.

I would be greatly surprised if the deaths and the disappearances are not part of a highly organized human trafficking network that has roots extending far beyond Chillicothe, Ohio. Here in Scioto County -- less than 50 miles from Chillicothe -- we have experienced a terrible rash of our own missing women.

Connections among the missing are evident to those who seek answers. And, it is true that drug abuse and prostitution here provide "hunting grounds" for sick criminals, especially those who choose to take advantage of human flesh in exchange for money and favor.

These victims are manipulated as slaves in a system that remains "a dirty little secret" to many. Most are fully controlled by substances. They become dependent and addicted while fixes and fear keep them in tow and silent about any abuse. One only has to follow the love of money to find links to the organization of control. These slave masters use the vulnerable to satisfy their own carnal desires, to offer favors to associates, and to make money from the local sex trade.

Portsmouth, Chillicothe, so many other nearby places -- we are the communities in which this obscene human trafficking takes place. We are the communities that suffer the losses and inherit the fears of brutal kidnappings and murder. We are the communities who choose to "let it ride" because drugs and prostitution are beneath us, and, therefore, not really our concern. We are the communities that refuses to "dig deeper" into the disappearances.

And ...

We all have become another community in which our own populace continues to lose lives for lack of full support in helping stop this control and manipulation. Do we in Portsmouth need to join the task force to find missing people in Chillicothe. Of course we do. But just as important, we need to join together to shed daylight onto the terrible abuses of human beings right here in our own community. It is our obligation to do so.

Who in a position of authority is willing to vow the following: "I will not rest until unsolved cases are solved and the evil people among us come to justice"?

Make no mistake, the sex trade and drug connection you see in Portsmouth are parts of a much larger network of human trafficking with NO regard for life. Those with answers need to speak out now to prevent further tragedies. No matter if truths are revealed that expose a dark underbelly that thrives through politics and favor -- our duty is to bring criminals to justice. Our duty is to care for all of our fellow citizens by insuring equality of justice.

Click here for access to the Missing Person Hotline:

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