SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) — A Sacramento postal worker is being credited with saving a teenage girl from being sold into sex trafficking.
16-year-old Crystal said she might not be standing here today if it weren’t for the heroics of postal carrier Ivan Crisostomo. It’s a story which could’ve been ripped straight from the pages of a crime novel, but the terror of the situation was very real.
Crystal’s mother Stacey said that her daughter was lured to Sacramento by someone she thought was a friend. Suddenly, she found herself trapped in a world of drugs and sex trafficking.
In an Oak Park neighborhood, Crystal saw her one opportunity to make a break for it.
She said she was in the car of her captors as they were planning to commit a crime. In a brave move, she jumped out of the car, grabbed one of her captors’ phones and ran for her life. She eventually crossed paths with Crisostomo.
“I heard this crying when I came out of the vehicle,” said Crisostomo. “So I approached her, and I asked her if she was afraid. She didn’t want to talk.”
With the help of Crisostomo, Crystal was able to call her mom, even though she was terrified her captors would find her.
“She was frantic,” said Stacey. “I couldn’t even talk to her, she was so upset. I told her she had to reach out to someone for safety. She gave the phone to Ivan, and he instantly kicked into gear and told me that he would stay with my daughter.”
Crisostomo stayed with Crystal, even letting her sit in his postal truck until sheriff’s deputies arrived. The deputies from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department had high praise for Crisostomo.
“The area where she was found is notoriously a high crime area. Lots of drugs, prostitution, and gangs in that area. So Ivan standing by with her really provided comfort, safety and security until officers arrived,” said deputy Latoya Buford.
“What Ivan did was wonderful. He stepped up where a lot of people would’ve just continued driving down the road, and he made a huge positive impact on this young girl’s life,” said deputy David Cuneo.
Crisostomo was just happy that he was there to help.
“The way I see her, she has a wonderful future ahead. She’s doing so well. I’m happy, really happy,” said Crisostomo.
So far, there has been no word on any arrests of those involved.