Alleged kidnapping victim shows up in Hattiesburg - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Alleged kidnapping victim shows up in Hattiesburg


A missing Florida woman assumed to be kidnapped was rescued Thursday by Hattiesburg police.

Flor Esmeralda Turcio-Arias, 34, was reported to be kidnapped Thursday afternoon in Panama City. She then showed up at the Hattiesburg Police Department Thursday night, which is about 300 miles from Panama City. According to a police report she claimed to have been kidnapped.

She then brought police to a home on Morton Street, about a block from the police department. That's where police detained a Hispanic man and woman believed to be involved. Hours later, two more suspects, a man and a woman, were also held for federal agents near the Jones and Jasper County line after an officer went to check on a report of a broken down car. The FBI had put out a BOLO report on that car.

The alleged victim and all four suspects are in custody for questioning.

The F.B.I. is handling the case, and while the F.B.I. is not talking, sources tell us the kidnapping may be related to a multi-state human trafficking ring. Sources say the woman recently moved to Florida from Nashville, the site of a major federal investigation involving human trafficking.  At least 30 people were indicted last year in a case that spans from Minnesota, Ohio, and Tennessee.

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