Abducted woman scared with snakes, dogs

2013-06-19 22:38

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Ashland - A woman told authorities she was held captive for more than a year by three people, who forced her to do housework, raided her bank account and menaced her with snakes and pit bulls.

But an attorney for one of the suspects and the alleged captor's mother said the mentally impaired woman was given a place to stay, because she and her young daughter had no home and that the woman was free to move in an out whenever she wanted.

Authorities announced federal charges on Tuesday against the three people the woman lived with in a working class neighbourhood, about 100km southwest of Cleveland.

Beginning in early 2011, they forced the mother to co-operate with them by threats and physical abuse, they said.

The woman and her daughter were freed in October after police investigated an abuse allegation one of the suspects made against her, authorities said, and they are doing well.

The suspects were charged with forced labour.

Callahan also was charged with tampering with a witness in the investigation.

The suspects had an initial appearance in US District Court in Cleveland and were ordered jailed until a bond hearing on Monday.

Police first got involved when the woman was charged with shoplifting a candy bar and asked to be jailed because the three suspects "had been mean to her”, said Ashland police Lieutenant Joel Icenhour.

It wasn't clear whether she had staged the candy bar theft to get police help.

'Mean' claim

Police checking into her "mean" claim went to the apartment after one of the suspects said it was the woman who was abusive.

Authorities said the allegation was a ruse complete with a video staged by the suspects.

They said the suspects forced the woman to act as if she were mistreating her child.

The 29-year-old woman was forced to do housework under the threat of harm to her and her child by her captors' pet python or pit bulls, authorities allege, and a menagerie of snakes was put in the terrified 5-year-old's face until she cried.

Andrew Hyde, who represented Callahan on related state kidnapping charges dismissed on Tuesday as the federal case was announced, called the charges ludicrous and said the woman at the centre of the alleged forced-labour plot moved in and out as she pleased.

Read more on:    us  |  abductions

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.