ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis woman’s viral video is highlighting what she claims is a human trafficking problem in the region.
Emily Scates posted the video to Facebook Tuesday afternoon. In it, she detailed her experience at the Conoco gas station on Kingshighway near Tower Grove Park.
"This white Escalade comes up slowly past my car, and this other guy's car, and almost like blocking us. And there's this guy driving and maybe two other people in the car and they start telling us to come over to the car," Scates said.
Scates said after the man motioned her to come over, a young woman in the back seat then rolled down her window motioning the man standing next to Scates to come over as well. They both refused.
"And then they were like, 'Hey come here, you just come, you just come,'" Scates said.
Sherrita Allen is the program director at the Covering House, which provides refuge to children and teens who were sexually trafficked. Allen watched the video at 5 On Your Side's request.
"It definitely could've been a possible situation of trafficking, definitely something that's suspicious," Allen said.
In 2017, there were 170 human trafficking cases reported in Missouri and 193 in Illinois, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Allen said those numbers do not always reflect the actual number of adults taken.
"Everybody's gonna look for a child. Everybody's going to look for a teenager, but an adult, they'll say, 'Oh, well she'll be back.' And the police may not look as hard,” said Allen.
Scates asked viewers to share the video on social media to spread one simple message.
"They will snatch your grown adult a** too. Something was not feeling good about that whole situation," Scates said.