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Green Bay woman held captive in the Dominican Republic rescued by Brown County nonemergency line

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Posted at 7:27 AM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 08:27:07-05

A Green Bay woman was being held captive in the Dominican Republic for months until she called the Brown County Dispatch Center Sunday.

The woman made the phone call to Brown County's nonemergency line from a store after she managed to escape captivity, according to our our affiliate NBC26.

"You could hear the chaos in the store, in the background, a lot of activity," said Tracy Ertl, communications supervisor for Brown County Public Safety, and the woman who answered the call.

The woman told Ertl that she had met a man online and went to the Dominican Republic to meet him in October. She then said she was being held captive inside a house that was secured with chains.

Ertl stayed on the phone with the woman for three and a half hours to work out a plan to help her, and eventually got in contact with the U.S. embassy.

“She’s one of ours," said Ertl. "She’s from the east side of Green Bay, and just went over for a visit and found herself in that situation.”

The embassy has since told Ertl that the woman is now safe, but this case alludes to a larger problem.

"She's what we're seeing a lot of now," said Ertl. "Human trafficking in different forms."

Ertl reminds people to use caution when online dating, and to always meet up with the person in a public space and to let someone know where you will be.

She also says that it's extremely important to know how to call for help before you travel outside of the U.S., as different countries may have different emergency numbers, or none at all.

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