(HOUSTON) — Police are trying to understand what happened at the scene where several people were held against their will in north Houston.
Four elderly men, who appeared to be malnourished, were found Friday inside a converted garage in Houston, Texas. They tell police they were held against their will for an unspecified amount of time as their alleged captor cashed-in on their veteran and social security checks.
The Houston Police Department says one suspect is in custody.
“They were being held there after being enticed there to get cigarettes and the person — our suspect who’s been detained — they claim was cashing their checks. …their veteran’s checks,” Jodi Silva, a Houston Police spokesperson, explained Friday.
After receiving a call Friday morning about several people held captive inside a garage, police officers arrived at the residence in the 8600 block of White Castle Lane to find the front door nailed shut, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK-TV. Police then entered what they described as a “prison room” where trash was scattered everywhere.
“They were apparently given scraps to eat, very little food was provided to them. They didn’t have access to a restroom,” Silva said, going into detail about the conditions in which the four victims were found.
The four victims, ages 79, 54, 74 and about 65, were all kept in the room against their will. KTRK-TV reports three of the men were physically unable to walk and were transported to a nearby hospital, while the fourth victim was in slightly better condition.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN Newswire
Ivana Kottasova and Armelle De Oliveira, CNN