Missing Persons and Human Trafficking
I’m so honored to have been selected as the new Executive Director of the Heidi Search Center. I’ve been guided to the field of missing persons by many who work around me and saw the natural fit between my work in the issue of human trafficking and how it relates to missing persons.
I’ve been called to work on several cases in the past that started as missing persons, and of course we found human trafficking to be the reason the people were missing. In some cases, we found the loved one alive and in a couple of cases we found the missing person deceased due to the trafficking activities.
Now, I’m in a new world, discovering the many reasons that people go missing. It could be a flood, due to a rip tide, a runaway, an accident, mental illness, or in one case, a husband who went to Vegas and was arrested; happy he was alive, however not so healthy for his marriage.
I hope this will be a successful venture, finding answers for the families that ask for our help. The statistics for the center show resolution for 94% of the cases that are brought to us. Keeping the center’s good record and the daunting task to keep the success rate at this impressive number is just one of my goals.
From all appearances it looks like the center will have a record number of cases this year. Instead of a decrease, we are experiencing an overwhelming increase in cases coming into the center. Our services are free to the families, and there are no grants to support us.
In the 1990’s when 11-year-old Heidi Seeman went missing, there were thousands of people who stopped what they were doing and looked for her. Heidi was found within weeks murdered, her body located around an hour’s drive from where she went missing.
In 2015, we are finding that many children and adults go missing due to someone they met on the internet. The search has now moved from local to global, and often with little to no way to narrow down the possibilities. Parents are at a disadvantage with a knowledge gap between their kids and the use of technology. The younger generation can make the internet do almost anything they want, however, they do not have the life experience to understand the Pandora’s box they are opening. Parents are doing the right things and controlling devices, however the parents do not know that as soon as the child leaves home that they are connected again at school, their fiends house, and even their grandparent’s home.
I’ve learned to remind adults it’s not if their child is targeted by criminals, but how many times.
I hope we can decrease the need for our services, and I plan to continue to educate parents and children this year, the 25th year of service for Heidi Search Center. I’m ready for the adventure and I hope you will join us with your support.
Dottie Laster is also affiliated with the non-profit Bernardo Kohler Center where she is accredited to practice immigration law. She heads their Casita program and Save One Soul outreach.
As a weekly Co-Host on the nationally syndicated radio show, The Roth Show, Laster presents discussion and guests who speak out about a variety of controversial subjects surrounding the abolishment of human trafficking and corresponding crimes.
Dottie Laster is featured in the documentary on sex trafficking in Latin bars and cantinas, The Cantinera, and her direct rescue work is the subject of the MSNBC Documentary, Sex Slaves: Texas Rescue. She is the recipient of several human rights awards and has been featured in numerous publications including recent issues of Texas Monthly, Town Hall, and MORE Magazine.
Dottie Laster is the CEO of Laster Global Consulting which has consulted in several high-profile trafficking cases, and has been directly and indirectly responsible for the rescue and restoration of hundreds of trafficking victims. Her strong multi-disciplinary team has an established track record and provide project development, consultancy, and training resources in domestic and international trafficking.
To schedule trainings in your community and become involved in making your area safe for victims and their families, and hostile to traffickers, contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-0859 or email email@example.com