It's the worst case of child prostitution Nebraska has ever seen. A mother was prostituting her own daughters.
One man was brave enough to report her and it broke the case wide open.
Cory Trainer is talking about Michelle Randall. Randall's crimes were so atrocious she will spend the rest of her life behind bars.
She was selling her daughter at truck stops and hotels. Her daughters were 14, 9, and 7 at the time.
Cory is the tipster who made sure she was stopped.
In 2012, Cory says he was homeless, divorced, and at times, lonely.
"I was kind of new to the Craigslist thing. I was going through the personal ads." said Trainer.
He ran across an ad Michelle Randall had posted.
"It popped up "mother needs help" or something."
They started chatting online.. Cory says within 15 minutes Randall offered up one of her daughters for sex.
"That's when I made my phone call."
Cory says he was so disgusted by Michelle Randall's offer he reported her. It lead to him working with the Nebraska State Patrol to stop her.
"It was a lot of sleepless nights. At 3 o'clock in the morning she was sending me a text with a picture on it." said Trainer.
For two months, he worked as an undercover informant. Then, Michelle Randall finally sent a picture that allowed the State Patrol to move forward.
"One of her oldest daughter in the bathtub."
At this point, investigators had Cory arrange to meet Randall at a motel. Instead, an undercover investigator with the Nebraska State Patrol was waiting.
She was arrested.
"I sent a message to the officer. Good job. It's over and I asked to get rid of my phone." said Cory. "Some of the things that were said I tried to pretty much forget. It's impossible, it's a scar."
Cory saw our story with Lt. Leonard and came forward. He wanted to be on camera to share his story. The Nebraska State Patrol was okay with that and praises him for his incredible work.
Michelle Randall is serving 92 to 120 years behind bars.
Cory believes her punishment could have been worse. "Because of the magnitude of what went on I think this should have been a capitol case, I really do."
Eight men have already been arrested in this case.
Zachary Schmidt, Matthew Jacobs, and Robert Klingelhoefer are the latest.
Shad Chandler, Donald Grafe, Logan Roepke, Brian McCarthy, and Alexander Rahe are all serving time for their crimes.
This is still an open case. The Nebraska State Patrol says they believe there are more out there.
They also say Cory's bravery emphasizes the importance of reporting these crimes.
As for Michelle Randall's daughters, they live out of state and investigators says they are in a much better situation today.
July 15, 2014
Michelle Randall is serving time for horrific crimes. She sold her daughters to strangers. The Nebraska State Patrol spent years tracking down a string of men, and stopping Michelle Randall from ever doing this again.
Randall violated the very thing a mother should do - protect her children.
The Nebraska State Patrol is giving us the details of a case they spent years working on.
First, the Nebraska State Patrol has arrested three more men.
Zachary Schmidt, Matthew Jacobs, and Robert Klingelhoefer are the latest. Schmidt and Jacobs have already been sentenced. Klingelhoefer was just picked up several weeks ago. He is under arrest but hasn't been sentenced.
These three men join a list of five others who have all been sentenced in the case. Shad Chandler, Donald Grafe, Logan Roepke, Brian McCarthy, and Alexander Rahe are all serving time for their crimes.
It adds up to the worst case of child prostitution Nebraska has ever seen.
Malorie Maddox sat down with the Nebraska State Patrol Lieutenant in charge of tracking all of these men. It is the first time the details of Michelle Randall's case have been released.
Under the neon lights of truck stops, and inside dark hotel rooms, lurked a sordid and sad secret.
"It's just so bizarre and it's so perverse," said Lt. Dennis Leonard of the Nebraska State Patrol.
Lt. Leonard has been with the Nebraska State Patrol for nearly 28 years. Still, even with all of his experience, "This was a horrible case," said Lt. Leonard. "This was a case that shocked me."
Michelle Randall, a mother, was offering herself up for sex on Craigslist. She would advertise herself as "Big and Beautiful."
"She had some sort of addiction to or attraction to sexual interludes." Lt. Leonard said.
When men would respond to her ads, she would offer to let these men - these strangers - have sex with her three daughters.
Her daughters were 7, 9, and 14 at the time.
Lt. Leonard said Randall was in the room with her children as the men were having sex with them. She even participated in some cases.
These trysts weren't about money. She sold one of her daughters for a mere $50.
"Frankly the money was so insignificant it probably wasn't paying for gas or motels. This woman had, for whatever reason, from my perspective a very perverse sexual addiction. I think that probably was her way of justifying what she did by saying I don't think it's bad. I should introduce my children," said Lt. Leonard.
It was inside a Kearney motel where Michelle Randall was caught in 2012.
An Omaha homeless man responded to one of her Craigslist ads. He was appalled when she offered up her daughters.
"There was a line he didn't cross. Despite his background he came forward and reported it to the State Patrol," said Lt. Leonard.
Lt. Leonard calls this man the hero in this case.
"He faced the embarrassment and scrutiny because he thought that was wrong," said Lt. Leonard.
The tipster went a step further. He helped an undercover detective set up a meeting with Michelle Randall.
When she got to the Kearney motel, a Nebraska State Patrol undercover investigator put her under arrest.
The State Patrol seized her computer, her phones, and found the girls living in deplorable conditions. Randall's home in Upland, Nebraska was covered in feces.
What they found on Randall's phone and computer led them to track down all eight men who have been arrested. It has taken them years of hard work and they aren't done yet.
"We think that there are probably four more," said Lt. Leonard. "If they're watching, they're not going to sleep well, and I'm good with that."
As for Michelle Randall, she is behind bars for 92 to 120 years.
Lt. Leonard knows the Nebraska State Patrol's years of hard work have been worth it. Her daughters will no longer find themselves for sale.
Lt. Leonard says the early 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services received a phone call from one of Randall's 14-year-old daughter's classmates. She reported to their hotline that she though one of her friends was being prostituted by her mother.
DHHS immediately pulled Randall's daughter from school. She was questioned by a forensic child interviewer, but convincingly denied she was involved in anything like this.
The Nebraska State Patrol also pulled Michelle Randall and her husband in for questioning. They both repeatedly denied that this tip was true.
Two years later, Randall was busted. The State Patrol says it turns out this daughter was being sold, but she was so scared of her mother she didn't admit it to authorities.
The State Patrol praises the girl that made the phone call to the hotline. Again, they encourage anyone with information to come forward in these cases.
Her daughters did eventually share what their mother had done with investigators. But only after their mother was arrested.
"Once the girls were convinced that they were safe, then they were forthcoming."
As far as Randall, she has been sharing information with the Nebraska State Patrol to help track down other suspects.
"I don't really thing she spoke to us because she thought it was in the best interest of her children, but whatever the motivation was we are glad that she did," said Lt. Leonard.
"I think she had some genuine remorse, but I don't think she would have stopped if she hadn't been caught."
Lt. Leonard says he is very proud of the investigators on this case. The details have been tough to handle, but the State Patrol had the ability as a single agency to control the investigation.
Lt. Leonard said many other law enforcement agencies were incredibly cooperative with helping them track down suspects and build a case against Randall.
Michelle Randall's husband never faced any charges. The State Patrol says they have no evidence he knew anything of the crimes. His daughters-and Randall-all deny he knew anything. He no longer lives in Nebraska and does not have primary custody of his girls.
As far as her daughters, they live out of state and don't have family in Upland anymore. Lt. Leonard doesn't want to give away too much to protect them, but says he is confident they are in a much better place today.