Wayfair’s Sex Trafficking Controversy: Conspiracy Theory or Truth?

Is this viral story fact or fiction? I’ll let you decide for yourself. 

Originally known as CNS Stores, Wayfair is an American e-commerce company that sells furniture and home accessories. They usually have reasonable prices.

Lately, it has been discovered that Wayfair had some rather pricey items on their website.

The internet is going crazy over the possibility that Wayfair is using its website to sell young girls.

The Theory

There is a girl named Yaritza Castro who has been missing from Harwinton, Connecticut since June 10th, 2020.

A “Redditor” discovered that Wayfair recently advertised a cabinet priced at $12,699 and listed it with the name: “Yaritza Storage Cabinet”.

The Reddit post also includes a missing girl named Samara Duplessis who disappeared from her yard in Southfield, Michigan.

Wayfair had an ad on their site for a throw pillow called “The Duplessis Zodiac Sign Astrological Constellation Personalized Throw Pillow”.

The price of the pillow? $9999.99.

The online sleuth took screenshots of the ads before Wayfair removed them. There were five missing girls mentioned but I couldn’t confirm if two of the five girls in the screenshot are actually missing, so I will not be mentioning their names.

Wayfair has dismissed the claims by internet sleuths and a representative had this to say on behalf of the company:

“There is, of course, no truth to these claims, the products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced. Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we have temporarily removed the products from the website to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.”¹

Fact or Fiction?

This is a very strange rabbit hole to go down if you’re an internet sleuth.

I searched for all of these missing girls on Google but most of them were either found long ago or I couldn’t locate the missing person report for them.

A girl pictured on the screenshots to be a “Wayfair trafficking victim“ named Mary Durrett went missing from a Houston medical center on December 7th, 2017. She was found on December 12, 2017. If she was found in 2017, it can be assumed that she is not being sold as a throw pillow on Wayfair’s website in 2020.

Samara Duplessis has been located safe and sound in her small town according to this Facebook post.

I was unable to find anything about Yaritza Castro’s disappearance or if she is even missing.

I found the photo below on Google, but when I went to the Connecticut State Police website, the page for Yaritza’s missing person alert is blank.

A reader sent me the link to Yaritza’s missing person profile page so it appears she’s unfortunately still missing as of today.

Photo courtesy of the Connecticut State Police

So one of these girls is still missing, two of these girls are confirmed safe, and the other two’s whereabouts and condition are unknown at this time.

A Developing Story?

While this is a salacious and interesting idea, these claims are not solid enough to support this conspiracy theory.

These girls have been either found safe or there wasn’t an official missing person report listed online.

The high price of these items and the fact that they had such unusual names are curious to me but this theory doesn’t have legs to stand on yet.

These types of theories are troubling because they could send the police on a wild goose chase when they could be looking into actual leads or searching for people who are officially missing.

A business is also being criticized for something that may not be true. This will probably impact their company in a very negative way.

When I heard about this, I actually felt it could be a cagey way for traffickers to evade the law.

Thankfully, these girls appear to be safe at home.

I’m going to keep my eye on this developing story, but it seems this rabbit hole leads to nothing.

[1] Hayley Peterson. July 12, 2020. Wayfair shoots down conspiracy theories about child sex trafficking and expensive cabinets. https://www.businessinsider.com/wayfair-denies-sex-trafficking-claims-involving-expensive-cabinets-2020-7

[2] Please note: A person contacted me on Twitter saying she was a girl from this story, I wrote her back asking if she could send me her name so I could remove it. At this time, I have not received a response. When I do, I will remove her name.

This is my article, which was originally posted on Medium.com

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