Nov. 7, 2017 By Tara Law
Friends and family of a Pennsylvania teenager last seen at a Rego Park hotel are asking for the public’s help to find her.
Corinna Slusser, 19, who grew up in the small town of Bloomsburg, went missing in September and is likely to have been caught up in a sex trafficking ring, the girl’s mother Sabina Tuorto said in an interview Tuesday. A friend of Slusser’s said that her daughter moved to New York to join a man she had met online.
Slusser was last seen on Sept. 20 at the Haven Motel, located at 6805 Woodhaven Blvd, according to police. The police informed Tuorto that Slusser may have been involved in prostitution.
Tuorto said that her daughter’s difficulties began a year ago, when the two of them began to argue about her deteriorating school grades.
Slusser moved out in June and lived with a friend in Hazleton, Pennsylvania for a short period.
She then moved to New York to live the “sugar daddy lifestyle,” said Cameron Seely, a hometown friend.
Slusser had been documenting her journey from Pennsylvania to the city via social media. She updated her Twitter bio to say that she lived in the Bronx, and her final Instagram post was tagged in that borough.
Slusser told her mother that she had found an administrative job. Tuorto said that she urged her daughter to come home, although subject to certain conditions.
“I told her that she was not welcome home until she got a job and went back to school,” Tuorto said. “Not once did she say she was not okay.”
Tuorto said that she did not realize that her daughter was in danger until a Protection From Abuse order arrived for Slusser.
The order said that a man named Yhovanny Peguero, 32, was not permitted to have contact with her. The document, dated Aug. 29, stated that Peguero had been incarcerated.
Stunned, Tuorto contacted her daughter.
“I called her and she said ‘Some guy bashed my head in and choked me,’” Tuorto said.
Slusser also told her mother that the man was out on bail and was trying to find her. Tuorto later learned that her daughter had been assaulted by the same man twice. After one of the assaults, Slusser was transported to hospital with a neck injury.
Slusser reported the assault to the NYPD, according to police.
Slusser told her mother on Sept. 20 that she planned to return home. It was the last time they spoke.
Tuorto soon realized that Slusser had stopped communicating with the rest of her family and friends, and had stopped posting on social media.
She travelled to New York to file a missing person report with the NYPD. When she arrived, however, she learned that the police were already searching for her.
Tuorto searched for her daughter in Queens and Manhattan but was unable to locate her and returned home.
Tuorto says that she is at a loss about what do next to find her daughter.
“She’s either not alive or she’s being held against her will,” said Tuorto. “It’s killing me.”
Slusser is white with blond hair and blue eyes. According to Tuorto, she is 5 feet 8 inches tall and about 140 pounds.
Slusser has a large black lotus tattoo on her chest.
Anyone with information as to Slusser’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS.