A woman with a cognitive disability and her daughter were held captive for over two years in an Ohio home where they were abused and made to perform manual labor, prosecutors allege.
The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio said this week that the woman identified as S.E. was made to clean, do laundry and shop. She and her child were beaten, denied food, threatened with pit bulls and snakes and forced to sleep in a room with a large iguana.
The woman’s captors took possession of her government benefit cards and PIN numbers and rarely gave her any of the money she was entitled to, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
Prosecutors charged Jordie L. Callahan, 26, Jessica L. Hunt, 31, and Daniel J. Brown, 33, with forced labor. Callahan is also charged with tampering with a witness.
Federal officials said Callahan and Hunt recruited S.E. and her child to live with them in a two-bedroom apartment in Ashland, Ohio. Authorities began investigating the situation last year after S.E. was caught shoplifting a candy bar and asked to be taken to jail saying that the people she lived with “were mean to her.”