Corinna Slusser has been missing for over a year, but a 23-year-old man was charged in federal court on Thursday in connection with her disappearance. Ishi Woney has been accused of sex trafficking and sexually exploiting Slusser and at least one other woman.
“Woney engaged in a vile form of exploitation, using force and other coercion to compel young women to engage in paid sex for his enrichment,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman said in a Thursday press release.
Woney allegedly used Slusser in online ads promoting prostitution and transported another woman across state lines to engage in prostitution, according to the press release. Slusser, who was 19 when she disappeared, was last seen in Queens, New York, in September 2017.
“I hope this [arrest] leads to other things,” Slusser’s mother, Sabina Tuorto, told the New York Post on Thursday. “I want my daughter found.”
Slusser arrived in New York City a few months before she went missing, the Post reports. She came in contact with Woney in early September, and the two of them rented a room with Woney’s other alleged victim (who was not named by the U.S. Attorney’s Office). Slusser was last seen at a Queens motel after reportedly having an argument with Woney.
Her family first reported her missing in Pennsylvania last year before finding Instagram photos of her in New York City, the Post reported at the time. Before she went missing, Slusser filed a complaint with the police against a man reportedly known for pimping out women in New York. It’s unclear if that complaint was about Woney.
“Missing my beautiful girl so much…the sadness in my heart is beyond words,” Tuorto wrote on Facebook in August.
The FBI asks that anyone with information about Slusser contact the agency at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov. The NYPD is also accepting calls, at 800-577-TIPS.
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