A Texas mother shared the terrifying story of an experience with her daughter at a local Wal-Mart that led her to believe she was almost the victim of a child sex trafficking scam.
Amanda Florczykowski explained that the incident began when she was in the checkout line at Wal-Mart:
I got in the check-out line at a local store early afternoon. I took my daughter out of the cart and the couple ahead struck up the typical conversation about how 'cute your daughter is' and then asked about her age, repeatedly. I initially was understanding of what I assumed was a cultural barrier, but I quickly became uncomfortable with the woman's body language and close proximity to my cart/kids. I picked my daughter up only to have the woman ask if she could hold her. The woman was so close at this point that my toddler reached her arms around the woman before I could really respond.
In an instant her proximity finally changed and she backed away. I grabbed back on to my daughter as the woman was saying "Say bye to mommy" - what an unusual comment to provoke a child to say. The woman resisted returning her when I physically pulled my daughter from her arms.
The mother said that the strange conversation between the couple "began immediately" with her and the whole ordeal happened over the course of just a few minutes.
"After this couple left, I was really shaken up but still noticed the man a few feet away in my peripheral vision, continuing to stand, by himself, with no groceries, in a closed check-out lane," Florczykowski continued. "He faced the opposite direction, but was looking over his shoulder at me; glaring would be an understatement. His eyes did not leave my every move and I confidently matched his stare to show I was aware of his presence. I loudly conversed with the cashier about their security staff and the odd couple that seemed predatory," she wrote.
Since the incident, Florczykowski said that she began researching sex trafficking and that many experiences were extremely similar to hers.
Abductors often work in groups and position themselves throughout the store. Although it wouldn't appear that these 3 individuals were shopping together, I am certain this man and couple were a team ... The couple checked out with 2 items of little value. Something they could easily abandon ... The woman had alarming proximity to me at times and twice put her hand on my basket. She created one route for me to place my groceries, thus leaving my attention divided between my kids and my task ... The cashier remarked that she thought I knew these strangers. Their body language conveyed that to onlookers, which would make an exit convenient ... Moms shopping alone with kids are targeted. Also true of my experience.
The story quickly went viral, with many readers expressing their horror over the terrifying incident.
"I am glad this mom prevented this from happening to her daughter I will only add one thing had it been me there would be three dead bodies laying on the floor in the checkout lane end of discussion bottom line you attempt to kidnap my kid or threaten my family there is a slab at the morgue with your name on it," one Mad World News reader commented on the site's Facebook page.