Season 3, Episode 9 Locked Up Next Door First Aired: March 20, 2017 Behind closed doors, untold numbers of young women across the country are being held captive. They are pawns in the sex-trafficking industry; and once drafted into this modern-day slave trade, they may be lost forever.
The Texas Rescue episode follows Dottie Laster and her team performing rescue attempts of known victims of trafficking by "purchasing" her services, often with the pimp waiting outside.
Investigative team member Dottie Laster explains why private investigators can be helpful. Police, she says, have a different timeline than the families do.
Laster says when Waterman got there she called home "and said 'Mom, you can't believe the people we're selling to -- they're doctors, they're lawyers, they're law enforcement professionals," Laster said.
Three women struggle to keep their dignity, love and sobriety as they drink for a living in a latin bar or cantina. Twenty to thirty beers a night, five nights a week; for many, it's a concoction for a regretful night, but to a cantinera, it is a living. —Anonymous
“When your loved one is missing, the torture is too much for family members,” Dottie Laster told PEOPLE amid revelations that Sarra suffered from schizophrenia. “Over time, they can develop serious medical malfunctions.”
The Joe Pags Show, Dottie speaks about the Heidi Search Center. She informs listeners about red flags and tactics traffickers use to target children.
Dottie will be sharing the story of a high school student we will be calling "Nancy" who was abducted and forced to do things that would destroy her innocence. Her story is a cautionary tale for the vulnerability of our kids not just from the internet monsters but from those around them. I have come across many stories of high schools students being tricked by people in their schools, the ones they call friends, who set them up for predators like the ones you are going hear about today. You will also be introduced to the power of coercion, a term not unlike grooming, in that it's power is only matched by it's ability to stay under our radar.
Dottie Laster, "Signs to be aware of,
There is no place we can say it's not happening.".... "It is a $32 billion industry."
I'm in a car with legal representative Dottie Laster. She specializes in sex trafficking and is helping Patty try to stay in the country legally. Laster drives me around Houston, showing me the types of places Patty might have been held at.
According to Dottie Laster, an anti-trafficking advocate who said she provided guidance for Clark, traffickers “do not discriminate in age, socioeconomic status, gender, or geographic location.” Targeting teens on apps such as Snapchat and Kik, she explained, traffickers seek to build a relationship of trust with their victims before kidnapping them and subjecting them to sexual slavery. “When kids are worth $150,000 to $300,000 a year on the sex market, [traffickers] are going to spend the time, do the work, show up at football games,” said Laster. “They’ll put in the time to do this.”
In the world of modern-day slavery, there are traffickers, victims, and the people who try to save them. Before she met Kiki, Dottie had already been involved in several high-profile cases in Houston, including the El Gallo case.......
Nothing infuriated Dottie more than when law enforcement officers complained that they couldn’t find trafficking victims. She saw them everywhere—in restaurants, discount stores, factories, and, of course, massage parlors and spas.
A collaborative media project which included the Texas Tribune, KXAN and regional news media to create news stories, a pod cast, and web site about the barriers to locating the missing.
According to Laster,
In my experience working with trafficking victims for the past eight years, the fact that these women are prostitutes has everything to do with the delayed response and their ability to even get help. Media stories refer to them as ‘hookers’ and ‘prostitutes.’ No, it’s ‘hero Shannan Gilbert.’ Shannan was amazing. She had the only chance of escaping, and she held on and struggled for her life for at least 23 minutes.
"Each case is shocking - and this is just devastating, to think of the families of the victims that died, the families of the victims in critical conditions, the victims themselves," San Antonio-based human trafficking consultant Dottie Laster said Sunday. "Anytime you treat humans like property or cargo it's barbaric."