MILAN — A 20-year-old English woman who was drugged and held captive for six days and nearly put up for auction in the sex trade has been freed by her kidnappers
Chloe Ayling, who has 161,000 followers on Instagram, had travelled to Milan for a photoshoot arranged by her agent on July 10. Ayling was to meet the photographer behind the shoot the next day, but when she arrived at the specified apartment, she was jumped by two men, and drugged. Belongings left scattered on the floor of the apartment suggest she was stripped of her clothing.
Ayling was then stuffed in a suitcase, locked in the trunk of a car, and driven 120 miles to a farmhouse in Turin. Authorities believe her mouth was taped, and her wrists and ankles were tied. When Ayling finally awoke, she claims she found herself alone in a room and handcuffed to a wooden dresser, wearing only a pink jumpsuit and socks.
According to The New York Times, Milan police believe her captors may have been planning to sell her on the dark web to the highest bidder. At the same time, they were reportedly demanding a ransom of $300,000 from her agent for her safe return, which was not paid. After being held captive for six days, in an unexpected twist, Ayling was driven to the British consulate in Milan, and dropped off outside.
Her captor also left her with a note, detailing that she'd been spared from a life of human trafficking by members of the Black Death group, a nefarious underground network of men rumored to kidnap women and sell them as sex slaves. It is unknown whether the group is indeed real. Either way, the note claims Ayling was the beneficiary of a mistake made in targeting her, in that it was found out she is a mother to a small boy, which supposedly one of the Black Death group's firm restrictions on women they abduct for "business transactions."
The following day, police picked up Lukasz Herba, 30, whom they suspect was Ayling's sole kidnapper. On his person, authorities found a pamphlet detailing the terms of the Black Death group. He has been jailed for the investigation of a suspected kidnapping for extortion purposes.
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