HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol stated in a release Wednesday that no charges will be filed against a truck driver who was transporting a woman across the country and found at a truck stop in Hubbard Township.
According to the release, the woman, 37, decided not to press charges after talking to investigators.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol said the woman began hitchhiking from California to try to find her children. She made it to a truck stop in Idaho, where she met the trucker, according to police.
The release further states that the woman and the truck driver traveled together for about three weeks in a consensual fashion. The woman said that the man then became verbally and physically aggressive towards her and texted a friend, asking him to call 911.
That friend called Montana State Police, who called the Ohio State Highway Patrol, who found the woman at the Truck World Gas Station in Hubbard Township.
Police arrested and later released the truck driver, returning the truck and trailer, based out of East Dubuque, Ill.
OSHP Lieutenant Brian Holt said that police were originally investigating the incident as a case of human trafficking. Although that turned out to not be the case, Holt said that every year in Ohio, there are an estimated 1,100 human trafficking cases.
“To tell you the truth, it makes me feel so sad,” truck driver Wesley Short said.
Short has been driving semis for 20 years.
He said human trafficking is far more common than people realize.
“I like to think of myself as a good guy and keep my eyes and ears open and try to watch everything. Not all of us are like that out here. It’s not like the good, old days,” Short said.