Student's tweet goes viral after she warns other women of human trafficking

1 month 1 week 4 days ago Monday, August 13 2018 Aug 13, 2018 Monday, August 13, 2018 6:20:00 PM CDT August 13, 2018 in News
By: Olivia Gerling, KOMU 8 Reporter
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MACON – A viral tweet is prompting the Missouri State Highway Patrol to warn people to call 911 if they believe they are encountering possible sex traffickers.

Nineteen-year-old Makenzie Kleist says she was on the way to move into her UMKC apartment when she saw a black truck with no license plates following her on Highway 36. According to Kleist, the truck followed for several miles, never letting other cars in between them.

Kleist and her 16-year-old sister were the only two in her car, which was speeding.

“I was even thinking ‘I’m going 30 over. If a cop pulls me over this is a good thing, because I’m getting away from this situation,'” she said. 

Kleist said, after hearing of several incidents in her home state of Illinois, she was afraid it would turn into a human trafficking incident.

Kleist called her father, a police officer in Illinois. He told her to call 911 and pull over at the Macon exit. 

Kleist and her sister met with Macon police officers, and she later posted her experience on Twitter. The post went viral. Click here to read the full thread.

Kleist said she posted it for other women who may find themselves in a similar situation.

“I do think it’s very important women to know that you need to call the instant you know,” she said. 

The Macon police put out this following statement on Facebook regarding the incident:

“It kind of made it seem like I was overreacting,” Kleist said. 

She said some people may doubt her story, but she insists it's true.

“Of course, when a Tweet like that goes viral some people assume it’s fake,” Kleist said.

KOMU 8 News reached out to the Macon Police Department for an interview, but the chief was not available to comment. 

According to Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain John Hotz, anyone who finds themselves in a situation similar to Kleist should call *55 or 911. If they do not have cell service, they should pull into an area with several people. Never pull to the side of the road.

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