Missing: Corinna Slusser

Corinna grew up in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania where she dreamed of becoming a makeup artist. Her Twitter and Instagram now lay dormant showing a glimpse of what used to be her life.

Corinna was only 18 when she vanished from New York City in September 2017 after she was convinced to leave Pennsylvania by a man who was acting as her pimp.

Investigators believe Corinna is a victim of sex trafficking and that she has been passed along between various pimps.

Summary from her Dr. Phil episode:

Background Information

Corinna Slusser was born on October 6, 1998.  She lived with her mother Sabina Tuorto and her brother Justin and she spent her childhood and teenage years in small town Bloomsburg. As of 2018, the population in Bloomsburg was 13,919. 

Sabina has said: ‘I was a single mother but my kids were happy. Corinna was a cheerleader, she ran track. She had lots of friends and was always doing their hair and makeup. Even if she wasn’t going out herself, she’d help them get ready.’

Corinna and her mother had some differences during the tough teenage years.  Corinna had made tentative plans to move in with her aunt in January 2017. 

Timeline

March 2017
Corinna is hospitalized after she attempts to commit suicide. While she is in the hospital, she meets a man who eventually convinces her to move to NYC with him to escort.

This man becomes her pimp.

“She wanted out from this small town and this guy gave her that out,” Ms Slusser’s aunt Julie Anne Becker-Calfa told Dateline.

August 2017
Corinna leaves Pennsylvania with only her phone and ID. She didn’t bring any personal belongings, her makeup, or extra clothes. Family and friends say she kept in contact with them regularly.

‘She got in trouble for underage drinking, and we started fighting. Next thing, she’s moving to New York. I couldn’t stop her, she was an adult. She didn’t like living in a small town. I guess she was running away from that life.’ – Sabina said. 

August 21, 2017:
Her first online advertisement appears under the name “Carissa.”

August 25, 2017:
32-year-old Yhovanny Peguero stole $300 from Corinna while she is in the shower at Harlem Vista Hotel in Sugar Hill. It is believed that Perguero is the man Corinna met in the hospital who was now acting as her pimp.

August 28, 2017:
Corinna confronted Peguero about the stolen money which leads to a physical altercation and the police were called.

Police found Corinna crying and shaking. She told them her pimp stole $300 from her. When she confronted him, he grabbed her by the neck and “slammed her against the wall, making it difficult for (her) to breathe.”

Peguero was arrested and charged with strangulation and criminal obstruction of breathing.

A copy of the order of protection was sent to Corinna’s Pennsylvania address. Her mother, Sabina, sees this and questions her about it, but Corinna shrugged it off.

“This letter of protection was granted against somebody she was living with. It went to her mom’s house,” said one relative, who asked not to be named. “We didn’t know what to think.”

“The letter said she was beaten and strangled, but (Corinna) told her mom that she was making a big deal out of nothing,” the relative said.

Early September 2017:
In September, Corinna met Ishi Woney – a wannabe rapper and pimp – at a Bronx motel. He is pimping out another girl who goes by “Jessica Wabbit”.

Woney takes Corinna under his wing and posts online sex adverts using all 3 of their cell phone numbers for the two girls.

Known used numbers are 570-912-2808, 646-956-6756 and 929-297-3144.

Ads still posted featuring Corinna as Carissa

September 7, 2017:
Corinna tweets about her very own apartment in NYC, a 1 BR x 1 BA on 3224 Grand Concourse, Jerome Park, Bronx, for $750.

Her mother says there is no way she could afford this.

“She was so excited about New York,” Corinna’s friend Kayleigh LeVan said. “She was excited about having her own place.”

September 10:
Corinna’s last known social media post is posted on Instagram, giving the location as the Bronx. It shows someone smoking a blunt.

In a phone call around this time with her mother, she says her license and social security card were stolen.

She says she wants to come back home to Pennsylvania.

 ‘She told me it was “ghetto” where she was and that she wanted to come home,’ said Sabina.

According to family, she sounded terrified. This was the last any of her relatives spoke to her. She did not call or answer her phone after this.

September 14, 2017:
Corinna ‘liked’ a post of her aunt’s on Facebook.
Corinna’s maternal grandfather dies in Florida. Corinna had been trying to visit him before he passed but she was unable to get a flight due to her lack of ID.

September 19, 2017:
An online advert gives her location as Jamaica, Queens.

“Jessica Wabbit” becomes jealous of Woney’s relationship with Corinna which forces her to the Haven Motel in Queens.

September 20, 2017:
According to police, Corinna is seen in the early morning at the Haven Motel. Woney and another unidentified male who had reserved a room to spend the night with Corinna were present.

Corinna’s last online adverts using her phone number are placed. Her location is listed as “Ozone Park, Queens, Woodhaven, Flushing, Astoria.”

Corinna and Woney had exchanged over 800 text messages between Sept. 10 and 20th.

September 26, 2017:
A memorial service for her grandfather is held in Florida. Her family were hopeful that Corinna would show up for it, but she didn’t.

At some point in September 2017, Corinna is reported missing to by her family to the police. Her family is told not to release details regarding her disappearance because it may alert her captors who could move her to another state. The story doesn’t reach the media until November.

October 6, 2017:
Corinna’s 19th birthday.

November 2018:
The non-profit group Phantom Rescue starts to privately investigate Corinna’s disappearance and offer $10,000 for her safe return.

According to PhantomRescue.org – Our goal is to form a global alliance with all Anti-Human Trafficking organizations.  This will ensure there is a United Coalition to end this atrocity.  The key to our success is proper integration with local, state, and federal authorities, both within the United States and abroad. Our role in ensuring children’s safe return is to be immediately ready to assist authorities, while not impeding their investigation.

October 2018:
Woney is arrested for the sex trafficking of Corinna and “Jessica Wabbit.”

Woney posts a photo to his instagram of himself, Corinna, and Jessica from 2017 to taunt police and Corinna’s family. You can still see the green in Corinna’s hair.

Corinna’s mother Sabina Tuorto told DailyMail.com that she ‘nearly fell over’ when she saw how different her daughter looked.

‘I know that if she was capable she would have called me,’ she said. ‘She’s being controlled. I don’t know what they’ve done to her, whether she’s on drugs or mentally unstable or whatever. But I know she’s not herself.’

‘She’s just one more drugged up lost soul,’ she said. ‘She’s a clever girl, but she’s from a small town. She doesn’t have the street knowledge to survive out there.’

Jessica denies he did anything wrong even though she was interviewed by the FBI about how she was being sold for sex.

“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,” US Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a release announcing the charges.

Here are the court documents relating to his case explaining his charges and details about how he sex-trafficked Jessica and Corinna (Jessica is victim 1).

Jessica, another “girlfriend,” Imani Brown (who goes by nellybanks or chocolate drop), and various troll accounts have been defending Woney on social media. They are adamant “she left that night.”

The various accounts have been attacking people on Corinna’s Missing Facebook page and putting Corinna’s promiscuous activity on blast.

Even though Woney was arrested for sex-trafficking, the whereabouts of Corinna are still unknown.

You can view Ishi’s mother’s instagram here.

Updates:

11/26/2019 – Pimp gets 15 years for role in sex ring that ensnared missing teen Corinna Slusser

During Ishi Woney’s sentencing, Corinna’s mother, Sabina Tuorto, pleaded with her daughter’s pimp to reveal the Corinna’s whereabouts before he was sentenced to 15 years in prison — prompting the procurer to blurt out that he has no idea.

“Where is Corinna? Is she dead or alive? Who is the last person he handed her off to?” Tuorto wept. “Please, Ishi, disclose where my child is.”

Judge Schofield began to explain that she couldn’t force Woney to answer any questions, but was cut off when Woney suddenly stood up and began speaking.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” the 24-year-old said of Slusser’s location. “I never passed her off to anybody.”

“Is she dead or alive? I’m honestly not sure, but I pray she’s alive,” he continued.

Woney was arrested in 2018 on charges he trafficked Slusser and others, including a minor and a mentally disabled woman with the IQ of a third-grader, according to court papers.

He faced up to life behind bars, but Schofield on Tuesday cited Woney’s extensive mental health issues — including a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia — before handing down the sentence of 15 years behind bars.

“This is a very serious offense,” the judge said. “Hopefully you can get the kind of medical care you need.”

POST PODCAST UPDATES –


Yhovanny Peguero hasn’t been sentenced and put in jail yet because of the virus. He goes back to court in June.

Ishi Woney appealed his sentence and has had it reduced by four years.

Corinna’s last instagram photo has been determined to have been taken in New York It was actually in the Bronx on Kruger Ave. A detective put it through a program and identified the location that way. The person in the photo is a woman and has been determined to be one of Ishi Woney’s friends.

Corinna is described as 5-foot-6, weighing 140lbs, with long blonde hair and blue eyes, although her appearance may have been altered. She has a large black tattoo of a flower in the middle of her chest. If you have information on her disappearance, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.”

Tattoo on torso - Corinna Slusser is missing from NY Sep 2017 ...
Corinna’s tattoo

Sex Trafficking Information:

According to endslaverynow.org,  Sex trafficking is a crime when women, men and/or children are forcefully involved in commercial sex acts. In the United States, any minor under the age of 18 engaged in commercial sex acts is automatically considered a victim of sex trafficking under the law. Worldwide, it’s estimated that there are 4.5 million victims of sex trafficking.

The United States is a source, transit and destination country for sex trafficking victims. Trafficked men, women and children are typically taken to brothels, escort services, massage parlors, strip clubs or hotels and are prostituted on the streets or forced to participate in pornography. Primary countries of origin for foreign victims in FY 2013 were Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Honduras, Guatemala, India and El Salvador. Americans may also be trafficked within the U.S. or sent to other industrialized states such as the Netherlands, Germany and Japan.

When the U.S. Craigslist Adult Services Section was available, there were 10,000-16,000 adult services postings per day in the U.S. alone.  This made it hard to determine if someone was working of their own free will or was being trafficked.

Sex traffickers usually pick those who are vulnerable to exploit.  Corinna met Peguero while hospitalized for a suicide attempt, probably when she was at her most vulnerable.  As her aunt said, he gave her an out of the small town that she grew up in. 

Traffickers often offer a job or some type of money.   Online sources say : Emotional and physical coercion is used in order for the victim to trust the pimp and build a relationship. Often, the victims are tricked into thinking they will have freedom in the work they are promised along with a large sum of money but instead, they become a sex slave. After the victim has agreed to the pimp’s offer, they are forcibly dissuaded from leaving by forcing addictive drugs, withholding money and physical/sexual abuse. Girls are often motivated by finances and basic survival. 

I feel this is almost definitely what happened in Corinna’s case.  She was lured to one of the busiest cities in America and she had nothing.  She depended on Peguero and Woney for her survival.  It’s been speculated that in the photo that Woney posted of Corinna (posted above), there is some redness on her arm which likely indicates IV drug use.  Did they force or supply drugs to her and she became even more reliant on them? 

If you’d like to find out more about how people become entangled in sex trafficking, this is an interesting clip:

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