Couple Arrested for Holding Missing Mom Captive in Cage for 2 Months

A couple have been arrested in connection with the disappearance and kidnapping of a mother of two from Indiana who had been missing for two months. The couple, Kendra Tooley and Ricky Roy House, Jr., allegedly kept 30-year-old Joelle Lockwood locked inside of a cage and forced her to do chores at gunpoint. She was finally rescued when a friend, Ron Higgs, was invited to the couple's trailer and they showed off their alleged caged slave. According to Higgs, Lockwood was being repeatedly raped so she could provide a baby for the couple.


Lockwood had disappeared two months ago outside of Evansville, Indiana, when she was walking back from a party. House had allegedly offered her a ride home, and because she knew him from high school, she accepted. He then reportedly asked her if she'd like to come to his trailer, and she accepted.

There, she was allegedly held captive, spending most of her time in a small cage, with a dog collar around her neck, and no food or water or anywhere to go to the bathroom.

Her misery finally came to an end when Tooley's ex-husband, Ron Higgs, was visiting the house. He says at some point Tooley brazenly told him, "I've got a girl back here in a cage," and when he asked what she was talking about, Tooley showed him Lockwood, who was scrunched in a small cage and only wearing a T-shirt and a dog collar.

Reportedly, Higgs at first was under the impression that the arrangement was consensual. It was only the next night when Higgs managed to find himself alone with Lockwood that she begged him to save her and he realized she was being held against her will.

Higgs told Tristate Homepage:

She says 'Please don't leave here without me.' I said, 'What's the matter?' She says, 'I've been here for over 60 days and they put me in that cage.

Higgs, despite feeling that he may not be a match for the deranged couple and House's gun, promised her he would get her out. He told Tristate Homepage that at first he tried to buy her freedom, but the couple declined, saying that she was not leaving until she had had a baby. Said Higgs:

The whole time during it all they was talking about a baby. 'She's not leaving here until she has the baby. I'm not selling her, you're not taking her, you're not doing nothing.' She told me Ricky was raping her, making her have oral sex. Kendra can't have more children and Ricky doesn't have any children of his own. I hate to say this to the public or even her even hearing it, but I think they were just going to have a baby and we would never see her again.

Then Higgs says he got into a physical fight with House over Lockwood and that Tooley began beating Lockwood. But at some point, House mysteriously retreated to another room and Higgs was able to convince Tooley that if she let him leave with Lockwood, he would not call police. She apparently believed him.

The two were able to make a run for it, and Lockwood was seen at a local hospital before being returned to her family.

This is an incredible story of outrageous evil and impressive courage. Who knows what would have happened to Lockwood if Higgs hadn't had the bravery and humanity to intervene.

Amazingly, Higgs says he initially had no desire to visit the couple -- who had asked him for money -- but that "something" was telling him to go. Good thing he listened.

The story is eerily similar to what happened to three young women from Cleveland, Ohio, who were held captive for a decade by Ariel Castro.

Based on these reports, this poor woman has gone through something horrific, and trying to recover from something like this will be excruciating. But she has reconnected with her children and family, and they are absolutely thrilled.

Police are now looking to see if there is a connection between Lockwood's circumstances and the disappearance of another young mother from the same area, 27-year-old Kristy Kelley. 

If the two are found guilty, Higgs has the perfect punishment for them:

I told the police last night I hope you all have some real small cells. That's where they need to spend the rest of their lives, in a real small cell.

Doesn't sound like a bad idea at all.


Image via Posey County Jail

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