You may have seen child trafficking warnings on social media. Encounters inside local stores that just don’t seem right, so someone reaches out to warn others, but many believe it may be a hoax. Well after a strange encounter in a North Tonawanda Walmart had her fearing for her children’s safety, one local mom is bravely sharing her story to let the public know it may not be so far-fetched.
Read her story below.
“I can’t believe the words I’m typing but here goes…Today I went on a normal Walmart visit to get some groceries and print out the girl’s pictures I just had done. I made my way to the picture frame aisle where Skyler was doing her usual bopping around doing cartwheels in the aisle. I was then approached by two light skinned women one with long hair and a long skirt on and another with a dress of some sort on, shorter hair, crooked teeth. Continuing forward they stopped me in trying to get me to join their “bible study.” Me being the nice person I am continues to talk to these women when all of a sudden I hear “Are you Skyler’s Mom?” I turn to a man standing at the end of the aisle and as I pulled Skye closer to me I said yes….? when I then see a cart with a little girl being pushed behind him with a little girl in it from Skyler’s class and her mom. They were motioning to me not to talk to the women and I was like…ummm…OK. The women then turned to me with a weird look and continued to ask for my number and name. I gave a fake number being I was completely creeped out at this point, and the one woman said something about leaving outside for a free bible and was very persistent as I made clear I could not due to my children being upset and cranky. I then finally broke away from the women and turned to find this man, and Skyler’s friend’s mom and friend waiting just around the way. We began to talk and come to find out these women had been in the store for hours walking around with the same basket of stuff hounding people. And she had asked me if I had Facebook and seen anything about the human trafficking going on in our Buffalo/Niagara area this last week and I said no. I was then informed women have been going to Walmart, Tops, Wegmans, etc. offering “Bible Study Sessions” in our area for some time and wait until you go to your car to put you in their van and go. I was in complete disbelief. Skyler’s friend’s mom and significant other told me Walmart was aware of what was going on and said if I wanted to shop and meet them at the front of the store they would walk me and my children to my car. We parted ways. As I was walking I got an eerie feeling someone was behind me and sure as hell, these women were trailing my every move. I then told Skyler she needed to get in the cart with her sisters and of course she said no, so I explained there are dangerous people here I need you to listen and she then got in the cart. The women were following me until I saw a lonesome mom in the baby section with her son, and I went up to her as if I knew her to throw the women off and it worked for a moment. I explained to the woman that if the women who were just following me approached her to get away from them and why. She thanked me up and down and again I was off heading toward the front of the store when the women got behind me again. At this point my already horrible anxiety kicked in and I began to cry running with my children in the cart to the front of the store near customer service and told them someone was following me. I then spotted Skyler’s friend and her parents and I proceeded to self checkout and they walked me and children to my car and made sure my groceries, children and I were completely in the car before they head all the way back to their car on the other side of the lot. I waited a moment trying to text my fiancée while he was at work to tell him what had happened and I then pulled off when I then noticed a very large transit van behind me. At first I thought I was just paranoid, so I decided to re-route myself going a way I usually don’t. I literally for 15-20 mins went down random streets in complete disarray, and the van continued to follow me and that’s when I then realized I wasn’t paranoid this was actually happening. I started bawling my eyes out and prayed to God he kept me and my children safe. I then called the police and went to a main road and pulled into a busy establishment where the van then drove away. The police were very comforting and very on top of getting to the bottom of it. The point is here, I literally know not a single person here other than my family and Dylan’s friends, and for at least one person who recognized my face from my daughter’s school tried to get me away from these women could have potentially saved my daughter’s lives and mine. I’m still in complete shock and trying to grasp what exactly happened, but all I can say is I will be forever grateful to Skyler’s friend’s parents, the North Tonawanda City Police for taking this seriously and The Good Lord himself for keeping me and my babies safe. I’m sharing this because I want my local women and children to be aware and safe. We always think we are so aware of our surroundings but the sad truth is, the world we live in today you literally just never know. Please limit outings to stores by yourself or with your children if at all possible and if you can’t – be alert at all times. After actually looking this up when I finally settled down I then learned this has been an ongoing problem for years In our community Buffalo/Niagara area – largely in part due to the fact were so close to Canada. So in conclusion, be aware and hold your babies tight because this world is scary and only getting worse. The thought of what if is running ramped in my mind and I’m sure will be for a while.”