crime

2 Arrested in South San Francisco for Allegedly Kidnapping, Trafficking Oakland Woman

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Two people were arrested Sunday morning in South San Francisco following the discovery that a young woman had been kidnapped and trafficked, police said Monday. 

Clifford Lawrence, 33, of San Francisco, and Ayda Elshawa, 18, of Stockton were arrested following a welfare check on the victim who allegedly escaped from her captors. 

Officers responded at 6 a.m. to South Airport Boulevard and Wondercolor Lane to conduct the welfare check on a 22-year-old woman. She was physically assaulted by a person armed with a gun, according to police. 

Officers located the suspects' vehicle nearby. Police said both Lawrence and Elshawa initially refused to leave their vehicle when police told them to. But they did eventually. 

The victim had been kidnapped at gunpoint in Oakland on Sunday, driven to South San Francisco where Lawrence and Elshawa physically assaulted her and then forced her to prostitute herself in San Francisco and Oakland, according to police. 

She returned to South San Francisco where she was held against her will at a hotel, police said. She escaped and called for help, according to police.

Lawrence and Elshawa were taken to the San Mateo County Jail in Redwood City following their arrest. 

The victim was given help by the San Mateo County Human Trafficking Initiative and reunited with her family. 

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