An Ohio mother and her child were mercilessly beaten and threatened with pitbulls and snakes as they were held hostage for two years in what is being called “modern day slavery.” The innocent victims were finally freed, and four suspects have been charged in the gruesome case.
An Ohio woman, identified only as “S.E.,” that has been held captive with her child in an Ashland, Ohio, apartment have finally been freed, but that doesn’t make what they had to go through any easier to bear. Federal authorities announced June 18 that three suspects have been charged for the kidnapping.
Ohio Woman & Child Held Captive: Charges Pressed On Kidnapping Suspects
Jordie Callahan, 26, Jessica Hunt, 31, and Daniel Brown, 33, have been charged with forced labor, with Jordie also receiving a charge for witness tampering, CNN is reporting. The fourth suspect has yet to be named.
The suspects had kept S.E., who has some mental disabilities, and her child in captivity since May 2011, forcing them to do manual labor including cleaning and running to the store. Occasionally they would be forced to care for the multiple animals around the apartment, including pit bulls, pythons and a venomous snake, but most of the time the animals were used as threats to make them work harder.
The case began unraveling for authorities in October when S.E., who is believed to be around 30, was caught for attempting to steal a candy bar from a local convenience store — and asked to be taken to jail. Ashland Police Chief David Marcelli told CNN, “in the course of interviewing her, they discovered the rest of [the] facts slowly.”
Ohio Mother & Child Freed: Release & Relief
Once the suspects began to be questioned about the case, Jordie showed authorities a cell phone video of S.E. beating her child on a, but S.E. told police she was forced to do so while the suspects videotaped so they could use it against her in case she went to authorities about the kidnapping.
Eric Smith, Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland division of the FBI’s Northern District of Ohio, announced on June 18 that Jordie, Jessica and Daniel were put into custody this morning. He said the suspects deprived S.E. and her child of the most fundamental of American rights, freedom, as they were subjected to multiple amounts of heinous crimes.
Despite their horrific treatment, Eric said S.E. and her child are “doing relatively well and have been receiving assistance from the FBI’s victim witness coordinator and other non-profit service providers” in their area.
This is the second kidnapping case to come out of Ohio since the beginning of May, and we hope they are the only two for quite some time.
— Taylor Weatherby