A missing teenager feared abducted by a sex-trafficking ring left a cryptic Instagram post that may hold the key to her whereabouts.
Corinna Slusser, 19, was last seen leaving the Haven Motel in Queens, New York in the early hours of September 20. Her family and friends have heard nothing from her since, reports News.com.au.
The troubled high school dropout from Bloomburg, Pennsylvania moved to the Big Apple earlier this year with a 32-year-old man she hoped would help give her a "fresh start", according to relatives.
"She wanted out from this small town and this guy gave her that out," Ms Slusser's aunt Julie Anne Becker-Calfa told Dateline.
Instead, police say, the man lured her into prostitution and took on the role of her pimp.
The teen is currently the subject of a desperate search by the NYPD's Vice Human Trafficking Team, who fear she has been passed to different pimps since her disappearance.
It is suspected Ms Slusser was abducted by sex-traffickers after she reported the man to police for allegedly trying to strangle her.
Court documents revealed officers found Ms Slusser "crying and shaking" after they responded to a 911 call to the Harlem Vista Hotel at 1.15am on August 25.
She told them her "pimp" stole US$300 (NZD $438) from her while she was taking a shower.
When she confronted him, he grabbed her by the neck and "slammed her against the wall, making it difficult for (her) to breathe", the court heard.
The pimp, whom Ms Slusser allegedly called "daddy", was held on US$1000 (NZD $1461) bail and police are withholding his name for operational reasons.
A copy of a temporary order of protection was issued by the court on behalf of Ms Slusser, who listed her mother's Pennsylvannia home as her mailing address.
When her horrified mother Sabrina Tuorto received a copy of the protection order days later, she called her daughter to confront her but the teen played down the incident, telling her not to worry.
Her family reported her missing on September 12 after she failed to show up at her grandfather's funeral.
It is not known who called in the September 20 sighting of Ms Slusser leaving a hotel in Queens but police have confirmed it, although the teen has not been seen or heard from since.
"I can't bear any more days like this," Ms Tuorto said on Facebook. "I fear the worst, but I pray for the best and her to return home. (I'm) waiting for an angel to hear my prayer."
Ms Slusser, an avid social media user, made a cryptic last post on Instagram on September 10.
It features a photograph of a young woman wearing a baseball cap and smoking what appears to be a joint in the middle of traffic on a busy city road.
While the picture was tagged 'The Bronx', some of Ms Slusser's relatives and friends have left comments suggesting the photograph looked more like it had been taken somewhere in South America than New York.
Less than three years ago, Ms Slusser was a popular student at Pennsylvania's Bloomsburg Area High School with dreams of becoming a makeup artist. Instead, she dropped out of school and moved out of her home at 17.
She stayed with friends near her mother's home for about a year until she became depressed and attempted suicide, according to her aunt.
While recovering in a hospital, she met the man who would allegedly become her pimp and he lured her to New York in March.