A disturbing discovery in North Houston where police believe they have found people being held prisoner inside a home. Detectives say four men were rescued from the house on Whitecastle Lane. Investigators believe the men were homeless, lured there, then held captive so that another man could collect and steal their social security checks. It was all allegedly happening, something as abnormal as holding people prisoner in a home, right under neighbor's noses in a normal looking neighborhood. "I have never seen nothing like that in my life," says neighbor Alberta Ewing.
"It's terrible to live so close and not know these people were (held captive) in this home. We could have helped them get out of this situation a long time ago," says resident Monica Booker. Houston police officers were called to the house to perform a welfare check around 8:30 a.m. after a concerned resident called 911. "They found four men who were being held against their will in a converted garage area. They were in less than standard living conditions. Three of those men have been transported to LBJ Hospital," explains Jodi Silva with the Houston Police Department. Neighbors say the men looked weak as they were brought from the house to waiting ambulances on stretchers. HPD describes them as likely malnourished. "They were not allowed to leave. There were apparently given scraps to eat. They didn't have access to a restroom," says Silva.
Neighbors say what prompted the call to 911 was a man standing inside the house looking out the window. "He was putting his hand to his mouth like he was hungry and rubbing his stomach," Booker explains. Houston police aren't sure if the men were being held for months or years. "It was longer than days. At this point it's just to be determined," says Silva.
Stevie Davis says he was at the house for six months. He gave a statement to police, seemed incoherent when talking with reporters but he told officers he did not want to go to the hospital. Investigators say four women live in a portion of the house, separate from where they say the men were being held captive. The four ladies include one elderly and three mentally challenged women. Officers took one man into custody. They say they believe he tricked the men into coming to the house then held them prisoner so he could steal their social security checks. "They were lured with the promise of cigarettes and food. Then once they arrived at the address they were not allowed to leave," says Silva.
Officers describe the house as filthy on the inside complete with locking mechanisms on the doors and windows. Although, neighbors say over the years they have seen elderly men outside doing things such as mowing the lawn. They say they thought the house was a group home.