Allegedly Kidnapped Model Says She Feared 'Black Death'

Chloe Ayling says she was told crime syndicate would kill her if she tried to flee
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 13, 2017 3:28 PM CDT
Allegedly Kidnapped Model on Why She Didn't Flee
In this image made from video taken on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017, model Chloe Ayling speaks with the media outside of her house in Surrey, England. The lawyer for British model Chloe Ayling says police are holding a suspect in her kidnapping.    (RAI via AP)

A British model who was allegedly abducted in Italy has said she understands why people may doubt her story, but insists she was "terrified" and certain she would die during the ordeal. Chloe Ayling says she was lured to Milan for a fake photo shoot, then drugged, stuffed into a suitcase and held at a rural house by criminals who threatened to auction her on the dark web. In an interview with the Mail on Sunday, 20-year-old Ayling explained why she did not try to escape—and even went shopping with her captor—saying she was told she would be killed by a criminal syndicate called Black Death if she tried to flee, reports the AP. "I understand why people have questions," she said. "People need to understand that everything I did was so I could survive."

In a separate piece, the AP looks at the purported Black Death. On a website lurking in the murkier depths of the internet, Black Death claims to be "an organized crime group based in eastern Europe." Its home page, captured by EU police agency Europol, contains a picture of figures wearing pointed masks associated with the 14th-century bubonic plague. The site lists services including blackmail, murder, and the supply of bombs and drugs. Three alleged women for sale are listed, with ages, nationalities and measurements and asking prices ranging from $120,000 to $750,000. It's far from clear, however, whether the group actually delivers on any of its supposed services. When a journalist, Joseph Cox, examined the site in 2015, he found that one of the photographs of a young woman supposedly up for sale had been lifted from a pornography video. (More kidnapping stories.)

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