In September 2017, Corinna Slusser was reported missing to police by her family, who believe that the Pennsylvania native might have fallen victim to a sex trafficking ring in New York City. Investigators currently still don’t seem to have a solid lead on Slusser’s whereabouts. Read our Corinna Slusser wiki to find out everything you need to know about this missing person case.
Who Is Corinna Slusser?
Corinna Slusser was just 19 years old and one class short of graduating from high school when she went missing in mid-September 2017.
On the surface, Slusser seemed like a normal, happy-go-lucky, well-adjusted, socially active teenager who frequently argued with her mother and had a passion for makeup.
However, it’s come to light that Slusser was battling depression, which led to a suicide attempt in early 2017.
Born on October 6, 1998, Slusser grew up with her mother, Sabina Tuorto, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
Their relationship was somewhat tumultuous and they were described as fighting often by Tuorto’s former sister-in-law, Julie Anne Becker-Calfa. But there’s no doubt that the mother and daughter still had a mutual love for one another.
According to her aunt, Slusser had a pretty normal life in the small Pennsylvania town. She was extremely popular and even served as a cheerleader for a team called the Corn Huskers, but she was constantly in search of a more exciting life.
Becker-Calfa, who lives in Massachusetts, remained very close with her niece even after divorcing Slusser’s uncle. “Corinna has come and spent time with me every summer. We’ve always had a close relationship,” Becker-Calfa said during an interview with NBC’s Dateline.
What Happened to Corinna Slusser?
The exact details and circumstances of Corinna Slusser’s disappearance remain a little murky as she and the suspect(s) are still at large, but here’s what we do know so far about this case.
As mentioned, Slusser and her mother Tuorto had a very rocky relationship, which led to the former’s desire to want to leave town. Slusser spent the summer of 2016 with Becker-Calfa in Massachusetts and then returned home to Pennsylvania in August of that year.
A few months later, Slusser told her mother that she wanted to move to Massachusetts permanently to live with her aunt. Both Tuorto and Becker-Calfa agreed to this and Slusser was set to make the move sometime in December 2016.
However, shortly after the decision was made, Becker-Calfa heard some unsavory details from her sons regarding her niece’s last summer visit. While it’s unclear exactly what happened during that time, Becker-Calfa claims that, unbeknownst to her, Slusser had been “up to no good” while staying in her home that summer.
Becker-Calfa was planning a two-week trip in December and in light of this upsetting information, she decided to postpone Slusser’s move to Massachusetts until she returned in January 2017. Slusser and her mother were not thrilled about this news.
Corinna Slusser decided to move in with some friends in a nearby Pennsylvania town instead. She was living with these friends when she dropped out of high school and attempted to commit suicide in early 2017.
Following her suicide attempt, Slusser was hospitalized. While in treatment, she first encountered the man with whom she’d eventually move to New York City.
Slusser’s family has identified this man as Yhovanny Peguero. He allegedly convinced Slusser to move to New York City with him, where he could give her a place to stay and the more exciting life that she wanted.
Slusser called Tuorto to inform her of her decision to move to New York City with this man. Since her daughter was over the age of 18, Tuorto had no way of stopping her.
Over the next few months, Slusser continued to post on social media and contact her family and friends. For a while, they believed that everything was fine.
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Then, in August 2017, Tuorto received a letter of complaint from the NYPD that was addressed to Slusser. It stated that Slusser’s “attacker” had been incarcerated.
The order of protection obtained by Dateline claimed that Peguero, 23, had attacked Slusser on August 25 in Harlem. He faced several charges, including assault in the third degree and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
According to the letter, Slusser “was crying, shaking, and speaking at a fast pace” when addressing the responding officer at the scene. Furthermore, “the defendant [had] placed his hand around [her] neck and slammed her against the wall, making it difficult for [her] to breathe and causing substantial pain to [her] neck.”
Naturally, this news horrified Tuorto and she contacted her daughter immediately to ask her about it. Slusser downplayed what had happened.
Becker-Calfa contacted her niece to express her concern. “I said, ‘I know somebody hurt you,’” Becker-Calfa said. “But that was it. That was the last communication I had with her.”
Everything went further downhill from there.
Slusser, who was always extremely active on social media and frequently posted selfies, updates, and pictures alongside her friends at various events, suddenly and suspiciously became inactive online in mid-September 2017.
Friends and family say they last heard from Slusser on September 9. Her family reported her as missing when she didn’t attend her grandfather’s funeral in Florida.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) says she was last seen in the early morning of September 20 at the budget Haven Motel in Queens.
Theories and Potential Leads in the Corinna Slusser Case
After the NYPD letter was sent to Tuorto, Corinna Slusser’s family decided to do a little digging of their own on her social media accounts to find out what she was up to in New York.
During this search, Becker-Calfa came to believe that Slusser was working as a prostitute and Peguero was her pimp, as part of a New York City sex-trafficking ring.
“If you were to scroll through her Facebook, it was like advertisement,” Becker-Calfa said.
The Haven Motel, where Slusser was last spotted, has a reputation as a “no-tell motel,” which is a slang term for establishments that primarily host people looking to have sex.
Slusser’s last-known social media post was on September 10, 2017 on Instagram. She appears to have posted a photo of herself smoking a joint and tagged the location as the Bronx.
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On November 1, 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced that a man named Ishi Woney had been charged with sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation in connection with Slusser and an unnamed victim.
“As alleged, Woney compelled his victim to engage in prostitution through force and coercion, and he used both this victim and Corinna Slusser, who has been missing since September 2017, in online advertisements promoting prostitution,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York field office, in the news release.
According to the complaint, 806 text messages were exchanged between phone numbers linked to Slusser and Woney between September 10, 2017 and September 20, 2017.
“Human trafficking is a top priority for the FBI, and, as today’s charges demonstrate, we will continue to aggressively pursue justice for the victims of these heinous crimes. Ms. Slusser was last seen in Queens, New York, and we ask anyone with information concerning her whereabouts to contact us as 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.”
“I hope this [arrest] leads to other things,” Tuorto told The New York Post the day the charges were announced. “I want my daughter found.”
Corinna is described as having blonde hair and blue eyes, standing 5’7” tall, and weighing approximately 140 pounds. She also has a large floral tattoo in the middle of her chest.
Police believe that Corinna Slusser has most likely been exchanged between various pimps since her initial disappearance. Therefore, she could be anywhere.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the NYPD Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or going to their web site. You can also text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) by typing Tips577 and the entering your tip information. By law, all tip submissions are confidential and will remain anonymous.