A 24-year-old mom and her 8-month-old baby were the victims of a human-trafficking plot in North Carolina earlier this month. The woman and her child were kidnapped and held hostage by a man in Pender County. Fortunately, the woman freed herself on August 9 and alerted the authorities, according to WWAY TV 3.
She called 911 from the house the morning of her escape saying she and her daughter were being held against their will. With her help, the Bender County Sheriff’s Department were led to her alleged captor, James Bryan Peterson, 54, according to a police statement.
When police arrived, they found the woman and her child. They arrested Peterson and charged him with two counts of assault on a female, one count of sexual battery, and one count of assault by pointing a gun.
After police searched Peterson’s home, evidence led to him being charged with additional counts, including one count of human trafficking of an adult victim, one count of human trafficking of a child victim, one count of first-degree kidnapping, one count of involuntary servitude, and one count of sexual servitude.
Peterson was taken to Pender County Jail and is currently being held on a $2 million dollar bond. As reported on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, the investigation is ongoing.
24-Year-Old Mom Escapes Human Trafficking Plot: A Real-Life ‘Room’
This story bears a striking resemblance to the plot of Room, a book by Emma Donahue that was later turned into a movie starring Brie Larson. Room follows the story of a young mother and her son, who are held prisoner in a small shed for years before staging an escape. Larson won an Academy Award for her starring role in the film.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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