Fourth Person Charged In Connection With Woman and Child Held Captive


UPDATED: Wednesday June 19, 2013 11:38 PM

Federal authorities have charged a fourth person in connection with a woman held captive with her child and made to do housework.

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland says the charge against 21-year-old Dezerah Silsby was unsealed after she turned herself in Wednesday night.

Silsby's initial court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.

The identity of the adult victim was released on Wednesday.

Authorities say Shannon Eckley and her 5-year-old daughter were held captive and forced into labor at a home in Ashland for the past two years.

A U.S. District Court spokesperson said Eckley, the alleged victim, suffered a traumatic brain injury that left her with mental disabilities.

He said two of the three people arrested in connection with the case on Tuesday conspired to take advantage of her.

Investigators say Jordie Callahan, Jessica Hunt and Daniel Brown forced Eckley and her daughter to stay in the home.

Kim McRoberts said that she never knew what was going on right down the street.

"I live right up the road and never suspected this going on," McRoberts said.

According to the federal complaint, six witnesses talked with investigators about the reported deplorable conditions at the home.

A statement said that the woman was dragged down a flight of stairs and then had her face held by a pile of mess made by dogs and that she and her daughter never ate until the dogs were fed.

McRoberts said that she knew Callahan and said that he bragged about keeping the woman after police picked her up last year when she allegedly stole a candy bar from a store.

"It was about six months ago, at Circle K, and he said he was probably going to get 12 years for keeping this girl here. That if she went to the police, he was going to show the video of her beating her daughter to try and get her money," McRoberts said.

Eckley told investigators that she was forced to beat her daughter and that the three used it as blackmail to make her stay in the home.

An attorney says slavery charges against the three people arrested are ludicrous and said the woman at the center of the alleged forced-labor plot moved in and out as she pleased.
   
Andrew Hyde represented 26-year-old Callahan of Ashland on state kidnapping charges.

Those charges were dismissed Tuesday as federal forced labor charges were filed against Callahan and two other people.
  
The federal court lawyer for Callahan declined comment.

A second defense attorney, Ed Bryan, says Hunt will plead not guilty and says there are credibility issues with the mother at the center of the case.
   
Messages were left for the attorney representing Daniel Brown.

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