The family of a missing woman from Scarborough is raising money for a reward in hopes that someone will come forward with information about her whereabouts.

Megan Waterman, 22, has been missing for five months, and some of her supporters fear that she may be a victim of human trafficking.

Waterman advertised as an escort on Craigslist and was last seen in June at the Holiday Inn Express in Happauge, N.Y., where she went with her boyfriend.

For weeks, Waterman’s supporters have been putting together a benefit event for Nov. 13. The spaghetti supper and silent auction will be held at the First Congregational Church on Cottage Road in South Portland. The event will include door prizes, a raffle and entertainment by a DJ, Doc Drinkwater.

Contributions for the silent auction will be accepted until Nov. 12. Items can be dropped off at the church between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Nov. 12.

Cynthia Caron, president of the nonprofit LostNMissing, an organization that helps families of missing people, said she hopes the event can raise $5,000 — an amount she believes is within reach if the turnout is good.

The reward will be for “viable information” leading to Waterman’s safe return, Caron said. Police will determine whether the tips qualify.

Lorraine Ela, Waterman’s mother, is optimistic that the reward will generate good information. “I honestly think once we announce there’s an award, within a week we’re going to find her,” she said.

Waterman’s family became alarmed when she failed to phone her daughter during her trip to New York in June. Waterman normally phoned her daughter, who is now 4 years old, two or three times a day when she was away from home.

Waterman’s boyfriend, 21-year-old Akeem Cruz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., declined a request for an interview. He is being held without bail in the Cumberland County Jail on a motion to revoke pre-conviction bail. He has been arrested in Maine in recent months on drug and criminal-threatening charges.

Police don’t know whether Waterman is a victim of human trafficking but are not ruling it out, said Detective Don Blatchford of the Scarborough Police Department, which is working with Suffolk County police in New York.

“That is definitely a recognized problem in the area,” he said. “We’ve investigating along those lines.”

Blatchford said police are still treating Waterman’s disappearance as a missing-person case.

Elizabeth Meserve, Waterman’s aunt, credited police for continuing to work on the case. She noted that detectives from New York were in Maine in recent days.

While the possibility that Waterman is being held against her will is devastating, it would mean that she’s alive, Meserve said.

“She’s basically afraid of nothing. That’s what gives me hope,” she said. “I know she’s tough.”

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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