Girls seem to be vanishing without a trace in the Bronx. In what a New York City councilman describes as a "disturbing" trend, some 14 girls, aged 12 to 19—who are mostly black and Hispanic—have vanished in the borough in two years. "Every other week our young girls are just vanishing off our streets," Andy King said at a news conference Wednesday, per the New York Daily News. "Something is going on." King suspects they were abducted and forced into prostitution, and the NYPD is looking into his allegations.
Six have disappeared this month alone, including two just a week ago. The Daily News runs through several of the cases, including that of 16-year-old Ashley Bissal, whose family says she left home to pick up her younger sister from school and hasn't been seen since. "It's crazy out here," says a neighbor of another missing girl, 14-year-old Sierra Rivera. "I don't feel like it's a good area." King says residents "need to make our children safe." Meanwhile, neighborhood businesses have teamed up to create a "safe haven zone" allowing teen girls and anyone else that may be in trouble to seek help within their doors, reports News 12.