Coco Berthmann is a German woman who became known as an advocate for ending human trafficking after claiming to be a human trafficking survivor herself. Here are 13 more things about her:
- She was born and raised in Germany. Her birth name was Sandra-Renata Ruff.
- According to her, her family trafficked her from her childhood until November 2, 2009 when she ran away from home to the sound of Celine Dion. She told Daily Herald, “I went to the door, put in my iPod, put on ‘Taking Chances’ by Celine Dion then I just ran.”
- According to her, she joined an au pair agency to move to the United States and ended up in Utah, USA in February 2017.
- From 2018 to 2021, she attended Ensign College in Salt Lake City, Utah where she earned her associate’s degree in marketing.
- From September 2018 to October 2018, she worked for Lions Digital Agency in Salt lake City as a social media specialist. From October 2018 to November 2019, she worked for LDS Business College in Salt Lake City as a digital marketing program assistant.
- From February 2019 to April 2020, she was an ARISE Project for Humanity board director in Salt Lake City.
- In November 2019, Jamie Brooker of Utah and Brooker’s teenage daughters gave her two tickets to Dion’s concert in Salt Lake City in March 2020.
- In April 2020, she founded the Coco Berthmann Scholarship Fund. She serves as its president.
- On April 17, 2021, she said at the Human Trafficking Policy and Education Summit at the Malouf Foundation in Logan, Utah that she was “right in the middle of everyone” when the human trafficking abuse against her was happening. She met Julie Whitehead, Elizabeth Frazier and Utah senator Mike Lee at the event.
- She showed her friend Amy Bowler her medical records that indicated she was diagnosed with stage 3 mantle cell lymphoma cancer in January 2022, according to Bowler. On February 3, 2022, Bowler started a GoFundMe account for her, which raised more than $10,000 as of February 17, 2022.
- On February 16, 2022, she was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for an investigation of communications fraud relating to an alleged faked cancer diagnosis. She is accused of falsely saying she had stage 3 mantle cell lymphoma cancer and falsely claiming that her mother sent people to the U.S. to kill her. She told police in South Jordan, Utah that she had been treated at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City but left because she could not be treated with chemotherapy. The facility determined she was never a patient there.
- She was 28 years old when she was arrested on February 16, 2022.
- As of February 17, 2022, she has more than 60,500 followers on Instagram. In her bio, she describes herself as a survivor, an author, an activist and a health promoter currently fighting stage 3 cancer. Aside from the cancer diagnosis, she is also accused of lying about being a child sex slave, witnessing her sister’s murder and working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Davis County District Attorney’s Office as a sex trafficking witness.