Local mom fears missing daughter might be a victim of human trafficking
A Royal Palm Beach mother is on a desperate search for her daughter who disappeared more than 2,600 miles away.
Lynda Santamaria filed a missing person case with the Los Angeles Police Department after her daughter, Leah Rose Altmann, 27, was last seen leaving her Los Angeles apartment, August 28.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office stepped in to help after Lynda feared her daughter might be a victim of human trafficking.
“I only need one hero for Leah. Just one angel, one hero,” said Lynda Santamaria, as she went through the piles of plastic bins filled with Leah’s clothes scattered all over her Royal Palm Beach home.
The corner where most of her stuff is piled is usually where Lynda places the Christmas tree.
She said this holiday has been a living nightmare.
“The moment Black Friday hit and Christmas carols started, I felt the world was not supposed to celebrate until I found where, and what happened to Leah,” added Lynda.
After Lynda filed a case, LAPD said there has been no banking activity. Her cell goes straight to voicemail when you call. Right now, detectives are not considering this a criminal case.
On Tuesday, PBSO took to social media asking for the public’s help, adding she may be a “victim of human trafficking.”
When CBS12 asked Lynda why she said because it’s a growing problem in the area where Leah lives.
“Too many people have said in the area she’s in, and her physical look, makes her the perfect victim,” continued Santamaria.
Leah moved to L.A. to pursue her music career. She traveled but has never been gone this long without any communication.
“I can only think of two scenarios,” said Lynda after she wiped her tears. “I fear, she’s not with us, and then there’s the fear she is being held somewhere.”
The 27-year-old is 4’9”, and weighs about 95 pounds.
Lynda hopes someone out there will come forward with information.
“You always pray it wasn’t going to be your story. My heart broke for parents when I watched those stories,” said Lynda.
Lynda told CBS12 her ex-husband, Leah’s father, just returned from Los Angeles to meet with officers.
Leah still has many friends and family in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast asking for your help.
Detectives want you to call 911 if you have any information.
Stay with CBS12 for updates.