ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Four people have been arrested and charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment after a woman was reportedly taken at gunpoint and forced into a dog cage kept in a backyard shed. Deputies in Orange County, Florida, made the arrests after the victim managed to escape and summoned help.
The woman, said to be in her 40s, escaped from the cage about 2 p.m. on Saturday. Once she freed herself from captivity, she began to frantically knock on doors and windows nearby in search of help. Neighbors came to the woman’s aid and contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies responded and provided safety for the victim, who sustained minor injuries during the ordeal, Law&Crime reported.
A probable cause affidavit reviewed by the news outlet said they “did forcibly confine, abduct or imprison the victim against their will [for] the purpose of inflicting bodily harm or terrorizing the victim.”
During the outset of the crime, the armed suspects forced the woman inside a car and tied her hands together with a cord, according to the affidavit.
Once she was bound in the vehicle, they reportedly drove her to a house where they further restrained her by binding her hands and feet together and covered her mouth with duct tape. One suspect also pistol-whipped the victim, according to the investigation.
Next, the suspects took the woman to a shed behind a home and forced her inside a dog cage, the affidavit noted.
The motive for the kidnapping was reportedly to obtain information regarding a “potential stolen item” at her residence, deputies revealed. The affidavit did not specify how she managed to escae.
As a result of the criminal investigation, the sheriff’s office arrested four suspects, identified as Kevin Holmes, 21, Cortez Jackson, 39, Monica Reed, 37, and Damon Tromp, 19, Law&Crime reported.
Each defendant is facing charges of armed kidnapping with intent to commit a felony and false imprisonment with a weapon. Reed also faces a third charge of aggravated battery with a firearm since she was named as the suspect involved in pistol-whipping the victim.
Neighbor Tony Stanislaus said the woman came to his home begging for help, Click Orlando reported.
“I was in the bathroom about to take a shower and my lady told me that somebody’s knocking at the back window,” Stanislaus told the news outlet. “I said, ‘Man, that’s impossible,’ because, you know, there’s a privacy fence back there.”
Stanislaus told deputies the woman had vanished by the time he went to check on her.
“I told them, you know, ‘I don’t know if this has anything to do with anything, but someone clearly jumped the fence and got to our back window and tapped,’” he said. “At that time, my lady described the person and then the officer said, ‘Sounds like that was the victim.’”
All four suspect were booked at the Orange County Jail for the listed charges and are being held without bond.