The Seattle Times has a really sad story this week about a Seattle girl who went from having her first boyfriend at age 12 to being arrested in Portland for prostitution at age 16 to testifying against her pimp and then... going missing.
The family of Kelsey Collins is still looking for her, after local police didn't seem to care that she was gone, despite being the key witness in a the case against her pimp (a Portland police detective called Everett, WA police and was told, he says, "She's 18. She's a prostitute. So what?").
From the story:
Kelsey liked school even though she struggled because of a learning disability. But when she turned 12, Kelsey went wild. She ran away repeatedly, became sexually active and later acknowledged in a letter that she used and sold drugs.
"There were times when they arrested her that I was glad because I knew she was safe," Collins said. The streets quickly hardened Kelsey, but she was still a kid. When she first fell in love, she wrote her boyfriend's name again and again on poster board with sparkly, blue glue and hung it on her bedroom wall.
Kelsey was a sophomore when police first arrested her in downtown Seattle for prostitution. Her family was incredulous. "Something drastic happened, and she went from selling drugs to selling herself," said Mariah, her other sister.
Kelsey began coming home with cuts and bruises — accidents, she said — but her sisters knew she was lying. There were times, Mariah said, when Kelsey wouldn't leave the house for days and wouldn't take calls. "I didn't know if she was in hiding or taking a break."