Mom Held Captive With Child for Years in Yet Another Ohio House of Horrors

under arrestJust as the Ariel Castro kidnapping case has quieted down, another Ohio home has been identified as a house of horrors. The Ashland, Ohio house is the place where a disabled mom known only as S.E. and her young child were held captive for more than two years in what's being called a case of "modern day slavery."

Again? So soon? So close?


So much for isolated horrors.

So much for faith in humanity.

Technically, Jordie Callahan, 26, Jessica Hunt, 31, Daniel J. Brown, 33, and a fourth suspect who have been charged in the Ashland case were not linked to Castro.

But their link is not just proximity. Their alleged crimes are markedly similar.

Again a woman was taken away from her life and forced to live as someone else's property. Again a mother was forced to make concessions to keep her child safe.

Again we are forced to face the demons that exist in society.

According to prosecutors, the mom in the Ashland home suffered a head injury as a teenager that left her with the cognitive abilities of a 13-year-old. Her captors seemed to have taken advantage of her, forcing her to work as a slave in their home, doing their bidding, while they threatened her with harm to her and to her child. Prosecutors allege she and the child were forced to sleep on the cold cement floor of the basement and often denied food and threatened with pit bulls and snakes.

Like Amanda Berry, who managed to get out and call police, rescuing herself, her child, and her fellow hostages, it was the mom who broke free. She stole a candy bar on purpose in order to get arrested while running an errand, and cops got involved.

Thank goodness she managed to find a way.

But what kind of world are we living in where a woman like her, a mother and a child, are put through such horrors?

What kind of world are we living in where people think it's OK to enslave others?

I know that I -- as many others -- watched the Castro case with a sick feeling in my stomach, wondering what those women and Amanda's child might have been through in that house. Now we have to imagine worse ... what it's been like for people in more than one of those houses ... 

What do you make of this case? What do you think drives people to act like this?


Image via v1ctor Casale/Flickr

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