Trucker Kevin Kimmel is a father and grandfather. He was parked at a Pilot Travel Center near Richmond, Virginia, in January, when he saw something that alerted his instincts about a potential crime.
Kimmel noticed a van in the parking lot that didn’t look quite right to him. He says he saw a young woman’s face appear, then quickly disappear behind a black curtain. “The black drapes didn’t make it look like a families’ RV, you know,” Kimmel tells WTVR.
Kimmel describes how he saw a man go inside the van, leave, then come back again. He says that, “All of the sudden the thing was rocking and rolling.”
“When I saw the young girl’s face, I said that’s not going to happen, I’ve got daughters and granddaughters,” Kimmel says. He called the New Kent County Sheriff’s Department.
When deputies arrived, they approached the van, and inside found a malnourished and frightened 20-year-old woman, along with a couple, identified as Aldair Hodza and Laura Evelene Sorensen, of Clive, Iowa. After questioning the woman alone, deputies learned that she had been abducted by Hodza and Sorensen. She said she had been forced to have sex with Hodza as well as another man at the Pilot gas station. The meeting had been set up through Craigslist.
The woman, who is also from Iowa, told deputies that she had been tortured by being burned with hot keys. The woman also had puncture wounds on her feet that investigators say are consistent with nails being driven into her flesh.
Kimmel is praised as a hero.
Fellow trucker Joseph Burch didn’t hesitate to say what he thought of Kimmel’s actions. “He’s a hero,” Burch says. “I take my hat off to that because if it were me, I would’ve done the same thing.” Burch adds, “You know, that’s somebody’s daughter.”
Another fellow trucker, Ron Churchwell, tells WTVR,
He saved that girls life and that’s awesome. I have two kids at home, man, and if somebody messed with them I’d want someone to call the cops and tell me.
Kimmel routinely drives several hundred miles a day, and he says he has a habit of staying alert to his surroundings. “I’m just happy I helped her,” he says.
Hodza and Sorensen are charged with the federal crime of sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion.
Here’s a report, from WTVR:
Image via screen capture