Kayci Rae Latoski, 16, was last seen walking away from her home in Lansing, Michigan, on August 13. She never came back.
Her mom, Nickia Ketchum, believes Kayci is in serious danger.
In an interview with WJBK, Ketchum said she suspects her daughter’s disappearance may be related to her modeling work. When Kayci was 15, Ketchum had signed a contract allowing her daughter to work with a modeling agency called Instinct Entertainment LLC.
The CEO of Instinct Entertainment, Ryan Ulman, was recently arrested and charged by the FBI for luring young girls for child pornography.
According to ABC 12, Ulman was investigated after his name came up in connection with a child sex-trafficking ring in Owosso.
Many of the juvenile victims were found addicted to heroin and meth. Some had been recruited from Ulman’s modeling agency.
Authorities told ABC 12 that Ulman was not responsible for sex trafficking, but his relation to the ring is notable. Images of naked, underaged women were found on Ulman’s computer, and he admitted to the FBI that he was “addicted to child porn.”
Ketchum told WJBK that her daughter had met Ulman on Facebook Messenger. He asked if she wanted to be a model and later showed up at the girl’s house with documents for a modeling contract.
While looking over the contract, Ketchum noticed that model nudity was “an option” in the agreement, but she thought her daughter could avoid taking those photos. Ketchum told WJBK:
“We thought alright we’ll give it a try. It started out with age-appropriate clothing, things you saw in Target ads. It went from that to he wanted skirts and short shorts. Then from that he wanted nudes, her topless, her pulling her underwear up inside of herself. I am like, ‘This is disgusting, we’re not going to do this.’ We stopped.”
Kayci was paid $60 for the photographs she submitted to the agency. The images were later posted on Instinct Entertainment’s Facebook page.
Ketchum isn’t certain, but she told WJBK that she suspects Ulman knows what happened to her daughter.
She wrote on Facebook that since the WJBK article was published, she’s been bullied for allowing her daughter to model and for calling attention to Ulman’s model agency.
Regardless of the harassment Ketchum has received on social media, she is continuing to search for her daughter while she waits for more information from the police.
Dearly reached out to Ketchum for a comment, but she did not respond to our request.
Police officers told WILX that it’s unlikely Kayci ran away from her home. They have received a few reported sightings of the teenager in nearby areas of Owosso and Detroit.
According to Missing Kids, Kayci has been described as 5 feet 4 inches tall and around 115 pounds. She has light brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information regarding Kayci’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the Lansing Police Department at (571) 483-4600.