MINOT, N.D. - An 18-year-old Parshall woman has been missing the morning of January 11. But her family and a human trafficking advocate say they believe this is more than just a missing persons case.
After Callie Anderson's family gained access to her social media accounts, they, along with advocate Windie Lazenko, say they have reason to suspect she may have become a victim of human trafficking.
Callie Anderson just turned 18, a fact that has led to a different way in dealing with her disappearance.
"I called Mountrail County Police first, and it took me five days to get them over to my house in order to even have them listen to me. They just kept saying 'well she's 18, she's legally an adult,'" says Heather Scholl, Callie's mother.
Scholl says she went to wake Callie up on the morning of January 11, but she wasn't in her room.
"Two thirty in the morning was the last time I said goodnight to her, I love you and see you in the morning. And when I went to her bedroom to wake her up for school, she had a kitchen chair pushed up against her door, her bean bag chair and her clothes so it would block her off the coldness, because it was really cold and snowy that night. Got into her room she was no where in there," says Scholl.
The police and Callie's parent suspect Callie hopped out of the window somewhere between 2:30 and 7 that morning and disappeared.
After getting into her social media accounts, Scholl started to seek help outside of the sheriff's department.
"I talked to tribal officers from New Town Police Department, the TAT, they came over and interviewed me. My daughter is not Native American, she's not enrolled, but they listed her as endangered, missing persons," says Scholl.
4her Founder and human trafficking survivor, Windie Lazenko saw a post about Callie on the Missing in the Bakken Facebook Page and says she was immediately alarmed.
"We do all of these different at risk scores of OK, well she's a runaway, she is from a broken home in a sense, small town, non-Native, is also another at risk factor. We know that the reservations are an area at great risk here in the Bakken and across the state. In this case, Callie was being groomed and recruited by obvious older men," Lazenko.
Those men were interacting with Callie on her Facebook and Snapchat accounts, some posing as magazine recruiters asking for inappropriate pictures of her.
"She is 18, but she has the mind capacity of a 14-year-old. She's been in IEP classes her whole life," says Scholl.
The sheriff's department says they have been doing all they can to find her.
"When we received word of this, then I dispatched an officer down to Parshall to start the initial investigation and find out what was going with this young lady's disappearance. So far we cannot see any signs where this young gal was abducted, where she was forcibly taken from her home- we cannot find any sign of this. Basically, we've checked with her friends around Parshall, and the friends that she has there are not really saying anything to law enforcement at this time," says Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson.
But he says he cannot say whether this is a human trafficking case or not.
"Some people do believe she may have been trafficked. Do you guys know the sign of human trafficking or get any training on human trafficking? Well, we've had some training on that. Basically we have not seen any signs of that. Not saying it didn't happen, we just haven't seen any signs of that," says Halvorson.
Callie's mother says she knows Callie wouldn't just run away with none of her belongings.
"I know for a fact in my heart that she did not run away. She just would not do something like this and not take anything with her or tell anybody. I just want her home and safe," says Scholl.
Whether Callie ran away on her own or has been trafficked, the most important question they are all wondering is where is Callie Anderson?
Experts say every 48 hours, one-out-of-two runaways is recruited by sexual predators and oftentimes get roped into sex trafficking.
The Mountrail County Sheriff's Department says if you have any tips on Callie's whereabouts, please contact them at 628-2975.