Lynnwood father, FBI search for missing teen believed to be caught up in sex trafficking
LYNNWOOD, Wash. - A Lynnwood dad, who also happens to be a cyber security expert, is desperate to find his missing child. He believes he found his teenage daughter in an escort ad on Backpage.com. But, his search has gotten more complicated because of the website’s shutdown.
Cyber security expert Bryan Seely has made a living trying to help people and families stay safe on the internet. But now, he's the one who needs help to find his 17-year-old daughter.
“She’s had a drug problem off and on for a couple of years,”said Seely.
Seely believes his daughter turned to the worst option to support her heroin habit. She disappeared two weeks ago.
“I went and started backtracking anything I could find and started finding ads on Backpage,” said Seely.
He believes he found escort ads for his daughter. But, Backpage.com just shutdown its adult classifieds section this week after a report claimed the company promoted sex trafficking.
“Yeah it sucks. Backpage is shut down because it's making it harder for me to find my daughter. But, a lot of families are spared a lot of pain,” said Seely.
Backpage denies any involvement in sex trafficking. But, Seely says that exactly what the site is known for. He's now using his cyber expertise and teaming up with the FBI to find his daughter.
“We hope we would find her. But she's still missing,” said Seely.
Seely posted and handed out fliers along Aurora Avenue and Highway 99, where police often crack down on sex trafficking.
Through all of this, Seely said the search for his daughter in these illicit ad posts online has been a painful one.
“Every woman is somebody's daughter,” said Seely.
He hopes to find his daughter alive and bring her back home.
“All I want to do is save her,” said Seely.
He hopes his struggle will help other families out there.
As many as 500 children in King County are sold for sex every day according to law enforcement.
Washington's Anti-trafficking Response Network (WARN) works with organizations in King County and around the state to provide resources to survivors of human trafficking.