Mother Searching For Daughter Who Vanished The Day Before Mother’s Day

Background

  • Kelsey Emily Collins, a young girl, experienced a tumultuous childhood marked by her parents’ divorce and her mother’s remarriage to an abusive man.
  • Her mother, Sarah Collins, moved out of state and changed their names to protect her children from the abuse.
  • Unfortunately, Sarah discovered that her daughters had been assaulted by their abusive stepfather.
  • As Kelsey reached puberty, her behavior became increasingly problematic.
  • At the age of twelve, Kelsey started running away from home, engaging in risky behaviors such as substance abuse, promiscuity, and truancy.
  • She even became involved with an older man who turned out to be a pimp.
  • Despite initially refusing, Kelsey eventually found herself working as a prostitute on the streets of King County, Seattle, and Portland.
  • She attended school during the day and walked the streets at night under the name “Lady Dollars.”

Arrest and Testimony

  • Kelsey’s involvement in prostitution led to her arrest for the first time in 2008.
  • Instead of arresting her, authorities called her mother to pick her up.
  • Three days later, Sgt. Doug Justus interviewed Kelsey in Everett, Washington.
  • During the interview, Kelsey revealed that her 36-year-old pimp, identified as Donnico Johnson, had brought her to Portland.
  • She disclosed that she traveled between Seattle and Portland to engage in prostitution, earning $1,500 on her first day in Portland.
  • Kelsey had known Donnico for less than a week before being coerced into prostitution.
  • Given her testimony, Kelsey became a key witness in the prosecution’s case against Donnico.
  • However, just days before she was scheduled to testify, Kelsey was arrested again for prostitution.

Disappearance

  • On May 9, 2009, the day before Mother’s Day, Kelsey was last seen leaving her home on 100th Street in Everett, Washington.
  • Her plan was to take public transportation to Seattle to meet her new boyfriend.
  • However, she never arrived in Seattle.
  • At around 8:00 pm, someone turned off Kelsey’s cellphone.
  • Her mother, Sarah, became worried when Kelsey didn’t return home and reported her missing.
  • Sarah drove to Portland to put up missing person posters, but the Assistant US Attorney, Kemp Strickland, asked her to take them down to avoid jeopardizing his case.

Investigation

  • After weeks passed without any action regarding Kelsey’s disappearance, Sarah took it upon herself to press the US Attorney and the FBI for help.
  • She sent numerous emails requesting assistance and discovered that, even after five months, Kelsey was not listed in the national missing person’s database.
  • Sarah urged the authorities to track Kelsey’s cellphone, leading them to discover that signals were being emitted from the Seattle area for two weeks following her disappearance.

Legal Outcome

  • The case against Donnico and Lisa Miles, another woman charged with sex trafficking, was ultimately dismissed due to Kelsey’s absence.
  • However, three months later, Donnico and Lisa were charged with trafficking a different minor.
  • Donnico was sentenced to fifteen years in prison and ordered to pay the young victim $21,600 based on the estimated earnings from nine customers per day at $80 each for thirty days.
  • Lisa received probation.

Family’s Beliefs

  • Kelsey’s family strongly believes that her disappearance is connected to the case against Donnico and Lisa.
  • They argue that Lisa was never offered any protection as a witness and was terrified to testify against Donnico.
  • Sarah, Kelsey’s mother, feels that the authorities had a moral and ethical responsibility to protect her daughter after asking her to testify against a pimp.
  • Kelsey’s family believes that her disappearance may have cost her life.

Continued Investigation

  • Despite suspicions, Donnico has never been charged with Kelsey’s disappearance.
  • Kelsey’s family continues to seek information from the public and urges anyone with information to contact the Everett Police Department at 425-257-8400.