Houston police on Friday said they found eight people, four men and four women, who were held captive against their will for as long as a decade, it was reported.
Police went to the home at around 8:30 a.m. and found that the front door was nailed shut, reported News 92 FM.
The men, aged 54 to 79 years old, were found locked in the home’s garage. CNN reported that eight people in total–four men and four women–were held against their will. The women were described as having mental illness.
Officials told Click2Houston.com that three of captives were very weak and had to be taken to the hospital. All of them could not walk on their own.
A woman told the website that another neighbor saw a man in the window of the home, and he motioned like he was hungry.
ABC News reported that there were four men, but other media said three were held captive.
One of the victims said he was held there for 10 years.
Police said the men were being held in a trash-filled “prison room.” There were no beds or chairs inside.
“One of them seemed to think he was picked up off the street and brought here,” Sgt. JW McCoy told ABC. “In exchange for beer and cigarettess and a place to stay, he had to turn over his Social Security check.”
A suspect was arrested and is now in police custody.
According to WBZT-TV, police believe the men were homeless and were being held there for their Social Security checks.
Neighbors, who were described as stunned, told the Houston Chronicle that there seemed nothing odd about the home.
Local Monica Booker told the newspaper that a mother, son, daughter, and granddaughter live at the home. She said the son previously said that he gets the Social Security checks from people who stay there. “It’s so upsetting,” Booker said.
“It’s pretty weird,” Robert Paris, who has lived in the home across the street for a few months, told the paper. “It’s really bad news.”
This story is developing. Check back for more updates.