SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A 16-year-old girl is home safe with her family after an unlikely hero — postal carrier Ivan Crisostomo — saved her from sex trafficking.
Crystal’s story could have been ripped from the pages of a crime novel, but unfortunately, the terror in her story was very real.
Her mother Stacey says Crystal was lured to Sacramento by someone she thought was a friend, then found herself trapped in a world of drugs and sex trafficking.
Crystal apparently saw her one opportunity to escape in an Oak Park neighborhood while riding in the car with her captors as they discussed committing a crime. She said jumped out of the car, grabbed one of the captor’s phones, and ran for life.
“I heard this crying when I came out of the vehicle, so I approached her and I asked her… She was afraid, she didn’t want to talk,” Crisostomo said.
With Crisostomo’s help, Crystal was able to call her mom, even though she was terrified her captors would find her.
“Terror … She was frantic … I didn’t know what was going on, I couldn’t even talk to her she was so upset and that’s when I told her she had to reach out to someone for safety and she gave the phone to Ivan and he instantly kicked into gear and told me he’d save my daughter,” Stacey said.
Crisostomo even stayed with Crystal and let her sit in his postal truck until Sheriff’s Deputies arrived.
“The area where she was found is a notoriously high crime area, lots of drugs, prostitution, gangs in that area, so Ivan standing by with her really provided that comfort, that safety and security until officers could arrive,” Latoya Buford of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department said.
“What Ivan did was wonderful. He stepped where a lot of people would have continued driving down the road, and he made a huge positive impact in this young girls life,” Deputy David Cuneo said.
Crisostomo said he’s just happy he was there to help.
“The way I see her she has a wonderful future ahead. She’s doing so well, I’m happy. I’m really happy,” Crisostomo said.