Monday, August 12, 2019

The Disappearance of Corinna Slusser

Corinna Slusser (19) has been missing from New York City since September 20th, 2017. Corinna is originally from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania but had recently moved to NYC during the summer of 2017. During the previous year, while Corinna was still a senior in high school, she was having trouble getting along with her mother. As a result, Corinna had made plans to move to Massachusetts to live with her aunt Julia in December 2016, but those plans fell through. Instead, she moved in with some friends in a nearby Pennsylvania town during the spring of 2017. 

A few weeks later—when Corinna was just a month shy from graduating from high school—she contacted her mother and said she met somebody who was going to give her a place to stay for free in New York City. Corinna’s mother did not want Corinna to go but could not stop her since she is legally an adult. The next day, the friends Corinna had been living with contacted her mother to ask her to come retrieve Corinna’s items. When Corinna’s mother arrived to do so, she realized that Corinna did not bring anything with her to New York other than her I.D. and her cell phone. Her clothes and other personal items were left behind. Corinna’s mother found this a little odd, but did not worry for too long, as Corinna continued to keep in contact with her friends and family in Pennsylvania after moving. According to Corinna’s aunt, she “seemed to be doing just fine.”

Corinna’s mother began to worry once again in August 2017, when she received a copy of an order of protection addressed to Corinna in the mail. The order of protection was placed against Yhovanny Peguero (32). Corinna’s family believes this is the man Corinna was living with in NYC. The document stated that Yhovanny was arrested and charged with various assault and harassment charges, including assault in the third degree and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. However, when Corinna’s mother called Corinna to ask her about it, Corinna allegedly downplayed it and acted as if it was not a big deal.

A few weeks later, Corinna’s grandmother passed away. Corinna called her mother to tell her that she was unable to make it to her grandmother’s funeral in Florida because her license and social security card had been stolen and she could not board a flight. However, Corinna also told her mother that she wanted to come home and would be returning to Pennsylvania the following day. Her mother and other family members were in Florida for the funeral by the time Corinna was supposed to arrive in Pennsylvania and were unable to get in touch with her to see if she had arrived home safely. Her mother stayed in Florida for a week and was unable to get in touch with Corinna the entire time she was gone. She reported Corinna missing upon her return.

Investigators and Corinna’s family members believe that Yhovanny was Corinna’s pimp. It is rumored that he lured her into moving to NYC with him for the promise of a “fast, fun life,” and that things escalated from there. NYPD detectives allegedly told Corinna’s family that they believe Corinna is now being held in a sex trafficking ring against her will. They also believe that she has been passed through several different pimps and possibly has been taken out of the New York area.

About a year after Corinna's disappearance, in 2018, a 23-year-old man named Ishi Woney has been arrested and charged with sex trafficking and sexually exploiting young women. It was announced on November 2nd, 2018 that Corinna Slusser was one of the young women exploited by Woney. News reports state that Corinna became associated with Woney and another female victim in early September 2017, after Corinna took out a restraining order against her former pimp Yhovanny Peguero. The trio rented a room at Bronx motel that is well-known for prostitution. Between September 10th-September 20th, Corinna and Woney exchanged over 800 text messages. On September 20th, Corinna and the other female victim reportedly got into an argument because the female victim was jealous of Corinna’s relationship with Woney. After that, Corinna moved to a motel in Queens, where she was last seen.

Although Corinna herself has still not been found, investigators believe they are one step closer to finding answers in her case. The FBI is now asking for anyone with information to submit a tip by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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