Four mentally handicapped people were found chained to a boiler in a filthy basement in Philadelphia on Sunday, Reuters reports.
Three people were charged with holding the three men and one woman with the mental capacity of 10-year-olds, in a 15-by-15 foot room behind a steel door that was chained shut for as long as 11 years, MSNBC reports. The three men and one woman were likely victims of Social Security fraud, Philadelphia Police Sergeant Joseph Green said, Reuters reports.
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"They were abused physically and emotionally," said Green, Reuters reports. "This is just a horror story."
The four adults were found malnourished. The room had a few water bottles and a bucket to urinate in, said Green, Reuters reports.
Linda Westen, 50, Eddie Wright, 51, and Gregory Thomas, 48, were arrested for allegedly holding the victims captive, Reuters reports. Westen allegedly posed as the captives’ caregiver and cashed their disability checks, police said, Reuters reports.
It’s believed that the four adults, ranging in age from 29 to 41, were taken from Texas to West Palm Beach, Florida, before arriving in Philadelphia Oct. 4, the New York Daily News reports. Authorities are still not sure if the victims lived in Texas yet, the Daily News said.