A New York City Councilman believes a group of girls who have been reported missing over the past two years may have been kidnapped and forced into prostitution.
Councilman Andy King, who represents the Northeast Bronx released a list of more than a dozen teenage girls from the area and is attempting to get the word out about the disappearances.
“Every other week our young girls are just vanishing off our streets,” King said at a Wednesday news conference. “Something is going on. They are attractive girls. How do you get the numbers vanishing?”
He said 14 girls aged 14 through 19 have gone missing as far back as July 2014. Six of them were reported missing in June alone, according to the New York Daily News. Most of the missing girls are Black and Hispanic.
The missing include Sierra Rivera, 14, last seen on June 26. She is thought to have run away with a boyfriend, police say.
Emily Arroyo, 15, disappeared April 26, when she was supposed to have been returning home from a juvenile program. A relative told the Daily News that the girl has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and has gone missing twice before.
Ashley Bissal, 16, never showed up when she was supposed to pick her 10-year-old sister up from school.
Jada Jordan, 12, vanished March 23 at her Seventh Day Adventist School, police said.
Authorities are investigating each missing persons case, but none of the girls have turned up yet.
“We need to make our children safe,” King said.