She never made it to her destination, because she was picked up by a couple - Cameron and Janice Hooker - who kept her as a sex slave for seven years, during many of which she spent 23 hours per day locked in a box.
It's terrifying, and a great reason you should be very careful about accepting the generosity of strangers. Colleen was an experienced hitchhiker, though, suggesting this sort of thing could happen to anyone if they're not careful.
Colleen was 20 years old at the time of her kidnap in 1977, and was headed to California for a friend's birthday.
She initially 'felt confident' taking a ride from the Hookers, having turned down two previous rides from others.
However, she said that she heard a voice while they were stopped for a bathroom break that 'told me to run and jump out of a window and never come back'.
Colleen should have obeyed that voice.
When the car entered an isolated area, Cameron put a knife to her throat and she was taken as a sex slave and imprisoned in a 'head box', which is pretty much exactly what you're probably imagining - a wooden box designed to trap someone inside with only their head outside.
Throughout her lengthy ordeal, she was repeatedly subjected to all manner of sexual and physical abuse by Hooker, who had agreed with his wife that he could have a sex slave.
Eventually, Colleen was made to sign a contract that kept her in slavery for life. She was threatened with death if she tried to escape, as well as a mysterious organisation called 'The Company' that Cameron claimed would harm and torture her family if she ran.
As well as the head box, she was also kept in a wooden box beneath the bed shared by the Hookers.
Colleen used her faith to survive, as well as complying with Cameron's many demands. That eventually led to greater freedoms, such as the ability to leave the box for exercise and - sometimes - work.
In 1981, she was allowed to visit her family, who believed she'd joined a cult. Cameron eventually became wary of offering her too much freedom, and kept her under the bed in a wooden box for three straight years, allowing her out only at night for food and torture.
In 1983, she was allowed to take a job, and Cameron told her he wanted her to become his second wife.
That led Janice Hooker to come forward about her own abuse at her husband's hand. She told Colleen that he was not a member of 'The Company', causing her to leave and get a bus back home.
Colleen did not initially report Cameron to the police because she claims Janice convinced her to give him a chance at reform.
However, after three months, Janice herself turned in her husband.
She also claimed that Cameron had kidnapped, tortured, and murdered another girl in 1976, but no evidence could be found of this, so no murder charge was brought.
Cameron was sentenced to 104 years in prison at the trial in 1985, with Janice testifying against him in exchange for her own immunity.
Colleen still lives in California, as does Janice. Both have since changed their names.
Featured Image Credit: Five
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