3 Arrested For Allegedly Enslaving Mother, Child For More Than 2 Years


UPDATED: Tuesday June 18, 2013 11:49 PM

The U.S. Attorney General's Office says three people are in custody accused of holding a woman and her child captive for more than two years.

Jordie Callahan, 26, Jessica Hunt, 31, and Daniel Brown, 33, were all arrested Tuesday and charged with forced labor in Ashland, Ohio.

They are accused of holding a cognitively disabled woman and her child against their will for more than two years and forcing her to perform manual labor for them.

Investigators say the suspects beat the disabled woman and her child, threatening to kill the pair. 

They also allegedly threatened the woman and her child with large snakes and forced them to sleep in a padlocked room with a large iguana.

Neighbors told 10TV the suspects were fond of animals, especially Jordie Callahan.

Investigators said they used some of those animals to threaten the mother and her child to discourage them from escaping.

 "These victims were subjected to subhuman conditions, denied meals, access to bathrooms physically punished.  Threatened with weapons, vicious animals, pit bulls and pythons," said Eric Smith with the FBI.

Investigators call this a form of slavery.

"We are yet again reminded that modern-day slavery exists all around us," said Steven M. Dettelbach, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio. "One of our nation's core values is freedom, yet this woman and her child were denied freedom for two years. The victims in this case endured violence, threats, sub-human living conditions and other horrific acts."

Investigators say the three forced the woman to clean the house, do laundry, walk to the store to do their shopping and care for their numerous pit bulls and reptiles.

Neighbors said they never suspected something was wrong.

"You think it cant happen and then you think coulda, shoulda, woulda. Did I see something? Did I not see something? No we really didn't," said neighbor Tara Williams.

The break in the case came when Ashland police went to the apartment where the trio allegedly enslaved her.

The victims were rescued last month. Their names are being withheld.

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