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The last time Edwin Lafontaine heard from his 21-year-old daughter it was via a frantic phone call. He says his eldest child spoke in disjointed sentences, making little sense.
"She told her mother she feared for her life, that they were chasing her," Lafontaine said in Spanish.
Edmarie Lafontaine, originally from Puerto Rico, moved to South Florida last December, hoping to continue pursuing her biology studies. But her parents said they've learned she may have also been pursuing an acting career and may have trusted the wrong person or people.
"We don't want to think about that and punish ourselves but it’s a possibility she may be a victim of human trafficking," her father said.
They hopped on a plane the very next day. On Jan. 26, they went to the Fort Lauderdale hotel address their daughter had given them.
"Her things were there. All of her belongings. But she never showed up," her father said.
More than two weeks later the search continues.
The Department of Homeland Security's human trafficking division has an open investigation into the 21-year-old’s disappearance.
The Lafontaine family says there was a person taken into custody but that person is not cooperating. They believe that individual was seen on surveillance video with Edmarie Lafontaine. The only information that the Department of Homeland Security has released, however, is that it is investigating her disappearance.
As Edwin Lafontaine pleaded with the people who may have his daughter against her will, he broke down during an interview and walked away.
He says he can only hope his child is safe.
The family will retrace her steps this weekend. Her last known addresses were both Candlewood Suites locations in Doral and Fort Lauderdale, according to her parents.