KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A dress worn by a young woman who was trafficked from Mexico City to Las Vegas has been stolen from a UMKC exhibit.
Personal items that belonged to people who were victims of sex trafficking were on display at Pierson Auditorium at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
These items include the dress a young woman was wearing when she was trafficked from Mexico City to Las Vegas.
One table shows a little girl's sandals that were at a brothel in Asia where girls as young as 6 years old were being sold for sex. There is a coffee cup from a cafe in Europe that has been used as a front for a trafficking organization targeting young women.
Each piece is part of The Apathy Effect exhibit, which travels across the county to show people sex trafficking and exploitation in a real way.
The dress was reportedly stolen sometime Friday into Saturday morning. The exhibit closed Friday night at 9pm.
Officials with iEmpathize say the dress is irreplaceable.
"We want people to understand the reality of human trafficking, what it looks like, what it is, what it isn't," said September Trible with the Stop Trafficking Project. "Breaking the myths and bringing the reality so that people can have empathy and have an impact in our community."
And the reality is that trafficking happens locally and nationally every day. In November, more than 20 people were arrested in a human trafficking sting in Independence.
Statewide, 123 traffickers have been identified in Missouri alone, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Anyone with the dress can return it no questions asked, and anyone with any information is encouraged to call Mariana with iEmpathize at 407 620-1311 or the UMKC Police Department at 816 235-1515.