A woman found dead near Alligator Alley was once the victim of a sex trafficker portrayed in a South Florida newspaper investigation.
Ivy Marie Bedell, 20, and her story as a trafficked teenager in South Florida were featured in the Sun Sentinel Project on Child Sex Trafficking, published in November. Bedell began moving when he was 14.
The body of a woman was found near Mile Marker 42 Wednesday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. He picked up the body on Interstate 75 through the Everglades and drove to Fort Lauderdale.
Also read: Woman's body found in Alligator Alley MPs are now looking for answers.
A spokesman for the Broward Sheriff's Office told the Miami Herald that the body was euthanized and an autopsy showed no signs of foul play. Bedell's cause of death will be determined based on toxicology results, the spokesman said.
Homicide detectives investigate how and why Bedell's body ended up in Alligator Alley.
The Sun Sentinel reports that Bedell's grandmother, Barbara Lechler, fought for Bedell's rescue for years. But on Wednesday, Broward MPs went to Lechler's Deerfield Beach home to break news of Lechler's danger.
Lechler told the Sun Sentinel last summer that she was hoping for a grandchild. After being arrested by the plantation police, he was ordered to enter a drug treatment program. When last approached on December 23, Bedell promised to remain in a medical facility but escaped after cutting his ankle.
Lechler told the Sun Sentinel Bedell's life had recently been threatened by human traffickers, and he'd even seen them interact with each other.
"You can never take them away from me," said Lechler, the dealer told her. He turned to his grandson.
– Ivy, get in the car now.
"He's going to kill us," Bedell told his grandmother. – Nana, go ahead.
Anyone with information about Bedell's death should contact Det. Submit a tip by calling Bozena Gazda-Morales at 954-321-4325 or through the SaferWatch app. You can also call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).
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