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Alert trucker helps rescue Iowa kidnapping victim in New Kent

Posted at 10:47 PM, Jan 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-09 06:36:01-05

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- From Iowa to New Kent County, court records detail how a woman was forced against her will to perform sex acts in an RV, while being told she and her family would be hurt or killed if she told anyone.

An alert trucker at a Pilot truck stop in New Kent County noticed the woman looking out the window of that RV with the curtains being shut quickly. It was suspicious enough for that trucker to call police.

"A lot of people are in this fight and willing to help," Attorney General Mark Herring announced last month.  Virginia's top prosecutor said the initiative would put the brakes on human trafficking.

And in this case, the adult female victim fit the script.

"Victims of human trafficking look malnourished, tired, and people they're with may try to speak for them,” Herring said then. “They may not know where they are. Those are the red flags."

Red flags that New Kent deputies noticed when they asked to speak with the victim away from Laura Sorenson and Aldair Hodza.

The victim begged deputies not to send her back into the RV, telling them Sorenson and Hodza were holding her against her will.

Investigators say the two were sexually and physically abusing the woman. The victim was forced to call home to Warren County, Iowa and say she was OK. They say she believed if she said anything different, she would put herself and her family in harm’s way.

The woman told deputies she had infections all over her body and that she was hungry and thirsty because she hadn't been allowed any nourishment for days.

Court records also state the victim said she was branded on her back, burned in other parts of her body and that Sorenson and Hodza cut her feet.

"It makes me real suspicious of who I park beside now,” said trucker Joseph Burch, who stops frequently at that New Kent Pilot.

The FBI has taken the lead in this case.

Other truckers call that alert trucker who called 911, a hero, saying his gut feeling probably saved the woman’s life.