A series of missing women’s cases has garnered national attention after the missing young would-be models were all found to have had profiles on modeling social networking sites like ModelMayehm.com and Explore Talent.
The National Coalition Against Violence for Women is taking the situation of the missing young women seriously enough that they have hired a private investigator to look into connections between 14 cases of missing women with profiles on modeling social networking sites, “When you have so many cases with a common denominator, that’s a red flag,” said Michelle Bart, a spokeswoman for the organization.
The three most prominent cases involve Kara Nichols, 19, Raven Furlong, 17, and Kelsie Schelling, all of Colorado, all with online modeling profiles. Kara has been missing from Colorado Springs since October 9, 2012. Her friends and family set up a Facebook page in hopes of finding the young woman. Kara, like Raven, has a page on ModelMayhem.com.
Raven has been missing from Aurora since February 5, 2013, when she left in her car with friends to go to California. Her stepmother received one short call from Raven saying she had to run because she was using someone else’s phone. Her car was later found abandoned in Venice, California. Her stepmother arrived with 12 hours while police watched the car, which no one came for. According to a post on the Facebook page set up for Raven by her family, “Inside the car items found of Raven’s appeared as if she may be with the car, but the disturbing items belonging to others raised more issues and unanswered questions continue.” Police consider Raven to be an endangered runaway.
Kelsie Schelling, whose family also set up a Facebook page, was last seen on February 4, 2013, in Denver when she left to meet a friend at a Walmart in Pueblo. Kelsie has a modeling profile on the site Explore Talent. A surveillance video at the Walmart shows an unidentified man getting into Kelsie’s car and driving away. Her empty car was discovered on February 14 at St. Mary Corwin Hospital.
No one is pointing fingers at any one specific modeling site at this time. It has long been a tactic of sexual predators to approach young girls pretending to be photographers in search of “new talent.” Such predators may have found modeling social networking sites to be a useful new tool for trolling for victims. Serial Killer Rodney Alcala used a similar tactic to photograph thousands of subjects, some of whom he is believed to have murdered. In this case, however, no one is assuming yet that the girls met an untimely demise, but rather fear that they may have been abducted by sex slavers and are being held captive. There are still many unanswered questions and no suspects at this time.