A vigilant Florida mom discovered a symbol on her child’s toy truck that led to a massive recall.
Nicole O'Kelly bought the pink truck for her 2-year-old daughter at a Monster Jam event in the Tampa area. At first, she didn’t think much of the heart symbol on the back of the toy. But her older daughter, a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit fan (and seriously smart cookie), noticed the symbol from the TV show and told her mother immediately.
According to Slate, the symbol, a heart surrounded by a larger heart, is a secret code for pedophiles. It signals that a female child is ready to be trafficked for sex.
“I’m absolutely sick. I bought this for my 2-year-old little girl. This toy was made for little girls. I wanted answers,” O'Kelly said.
Even more alarming is that it happened at an event where so many males were in attendance.
“This is pink,” O'Kelly said. “This is for little girls, especially at a predominately male event.”
The company that makes the toy, Feld Inc, admits they were unaware of the symbol’s meaning and that the horrific mistake was unintentional. They have since issued a recall and pulled it from shelves.
A spokesperson for the company has released a statement:
“We’re shocked. We had no idea. We reacted immediately. We wanted to do the right thing as quickly as possible. Clearly we’re in the business with providing high quality family entertainment. This was really obscure. Until yesterday, I had no idea there was an underlying meaning of these symbols and the deplorable behavior. We just don’t know if a crime was committed here. We have not been contacted by LEOs. We just want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Stephen Payne, with Feld Inc.
Anyone who purchased a toy with the symbol at the Monster Jam event in Florida on January 16th or February 6th should contact the police immediately.
As scary as this is, maybe it will shed some light on the horrific realities of child trafficking and help to keep kids safer.
For more information on pedophile symbols, you can read the FBI report that identifies the many different types.