A Tulsa woman with a disability disappears, and there's concern someone may be taking advantage of her.
Winter Parks is seen in this undated photo. Winter is deaf and was last seen in July 2009 in Tulsa.
TULSA - Born deaf and growing up in foster care, Winter Parks has been vulnerable from the start.
"I adopted her to make sure she had a place to come back to after foster care," said her adoptive mother, Angela Parks.
Angela says Winter's disability and her upbringing made her very naive.
"She's very loving, very trusting, very childlike," said Angela.
Sometimes, Angela says, Winter was too trusting.
"She said, 'Mom come look I'm talking to this guy on the Internet.' And I said, 'Who is it?' And she said, 'Well I don't know but he's really nice.' And he was 35 and she was 16," said Angela.
Her mom put a stop to that conversation, but couldn't stop 22-year-old Winter from moving out of their Sulpher home.
She eventually made her way to Tulsa.
"Winter had made some bad choices," said Jill Roberson of the Tulsa Police Department's Crime Stoppers Unit. "(She) started running around with the wrong crowd, there was some drug use involved."
Still, no one saw coming what happened next.
In July of 2009, Winter vanished.
"Initially I just thought that she was with somebody and that I'd hear from her," said Angela.
But the call never came. Tulsa Police started investigating.
They quickly learned that Winter had been essentially homeless in Tulsa, staying at times at the Tulsa Day Center and other times with friends.
"Those individuals have said Winter has stayed there for only a couple nights but then moved on, so she has traveled around the city a lot staying in several different places," said Roberson.
But no one knew where she disappeared or why she disappeared.
"I would say my biggest concern would be sex trafficking," said Angela.
"She can not communicate as well with everyone that she comes in contact with so that is definitely concern that someone is taking advantage of her at this time," said Roberson.
For Winter, growing up in a silent world may have made the dangers tougher to see.
Winter Parks would now be 26-years-old.
She's 4'9 and Asian.
She may also be using a different name.
If you have any information or tip that could help police,
contact Crimestoppers (http://bit.ly/TulsaCrimeStoppers) at 918-596-COPS. You do not have to give your name.
Tips that lead to an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,500.
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