A California teenager has credited a Postal Service employee with protecting her at a critical time — just moments after she says she escaped a months-long ordeal of captivity and abuse.
Letter Carrier Ivan Crisostomo was delivering mail in a Sacramento, CA, neighborhood in June when he spotted 16-year-old Crystal Allen hiding in a yard, sobbing desperately.
Crisostomo stopped to check on Allen, who is described in media reports as a sex trafficking victim. She kept repeating, “They are coming to get me,” he later told the local NBC station.
“Don’t worry,” he assured her. “Nobody is going to get you. I’m here for you.”
Crisostomo immediately called 911, then persuaded Allen to call her mother, Stacy Ohman.
“I couldn’t even understand her, she was so upset,” Ohman told the local ABC affiliate. “She gave the phone to Ivan and he instantly kicked into gear and told me that he would save my daughter.”
Crisostomo stayed with Allen until emergency responders arrived. Authorities eventually pieced together details of the case, including the teen’s account of fleeing from the vehicle of abductors who were looking for her when Crisostomo came to her aid.
“He stepped up where a lot of people would have continued driving down the road, and he made a huge, positive impact in this young girl’s life,” sheriff’s deputy David Cuneo told CBS Sacramento.
Allen and Ohman later thanked Crisostomo in person at a Postal Service event where he was honored for his heroism.