Posted: May 2, 2013 5:41 PM by Allie Hinds
Updated: May 2, 2013 8:17 PM
COLUMBIA- Employees from around Mid-Missouri gathered earlier this week to learn how to spot human traffickers who could be staying in their hotels.
Human traffickers buy people and use them for forced labor or sex. Central Missouri Stop Human Trafficking Coalition (CMSHTC) said human traffickers often bring their victims to hotels and this is happening in Mid-Missouri.
"There is a demand for buying sex in our community. There's traffickers who are taking advantage finding vulnerable people- men, women and girls and boys," said Nanette Ward co-chair of CMSHTC. "It's just as easy to order a pizza from your hotel room as it is to order a person."
Ward said there's many websites where you can buy people for sex and/or labor and keep them basically as slaves.
Ward said some of the signs of trafficking include:
"There have been survivors of sex trafficking who've said 'I wish somebody would notice I'm wearing a short skirt and heels in the middle of winter. I'm trying to look 18 but really I look 14 to you. Get a clue. Tell someone," Ward said.
Officer Tim Thomason with the Columbia Police Department said it's just as important for guests to be aware of the signs as it is for the employees.
"We can't control all of the crime by ourselves at any given time, especially such an undercover crime as human trafficking or prostitution is. We need help from other in the community," said Thomason.
Ward said if you ever are suspicious of trafficking call the police or the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733).
Posted 6:25 PM 12/1/2015 by Jenna Middaugh, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
JEFFERSON CITY – State Rep. Brandon Ellington, D-Kansas City, pre-filed legislation Tuesday to increase the state minimum wage to $10.25 an hour.
“The single most important thing Missouri can do for low-income families is to boost the minimum wage,” Ellington said. (More)
Posted 6:22 PM 12/1/2015 by Chris Gervino, KOMU 8 Sports Director
COLUMBIA - Sources tell KOMU that University of California Head Football Coach Sonny Dykes interviewed with Missouri Athletic Director Mack Rhoades in Denver today.
Dykes is 13-23 in three years as head coach at Cal, but has gone from one win to five wins to seven wins in those three (More)
Posted 6:15 PM 12/1/2015 by Micheala Sosby, KOMU 8 Digital Producer
JEFFERSON CITY - Columbia resident Malcolm Desean Redmon, 32, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday for his role in a Boone County cocaine trafficking ring.
Redmon, also known as "Harp," pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and powder cocaine in (More)
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Posted 6:15 PM 12/1/2015 by Derek Brizendine, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Amid the deals and bargains of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday is a day set aside for being thankful for what you have and giving back to the community.
"Giving Tuesday is a global movement in its fourth year as a movement," Central Missouri Humane Society (More)
Posted 6:13 PM 12/1/2015 by Emma Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - According to the Regional Aids Interfaith Network, people ages 18-25 are more likely to test positive for HIV in mid-Missouri.
Cale Mitchell, executive director of Rain-Central Missouri said testing isn't as popular as it was in the 90's, partially due to the lack of celebrity (More)
Posted 12:40 PM 10/7/2015 by Michael Lindquist, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA – A report presented to Columbia City Council in September stated that illegal sewer connections are causing backups and overflows in residents homes.
That's led the City of Columbia to crack down on illegal sewer connections that are leading to messy situations around (More)
Posted 4:15 PM 12/1/2015 by Andria Kirkland, KOMU 8 Reporter
COLUMBIA - Jefferson City Public School officials are rewriting next year’s Internet provider contract, anticipating that 2016 may bring in more tech-savvy students. Jefferson City Public Schools (JCPS) is implementing a technology program called “One to (More)
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Posted 3:36 PM 12/1/2015 by The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy who authorities say was caught rummaging through a car in St. Louis for pocket change could test Missouri's castle doctrine.
In a prepared statement, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said the case was a tragedy (More)
Posted 3:27 PM 12/1/2015 by The Associated Press
VALLEY PARK (AP) — A 6-year-old child is in protective custody after being found unharmed in a suburban St. Louis home where his parents died in an apparent murder-suicide.
Police were called to the home in Valley Park around 11:15 a.m. Monday after school district officials (More)