Posted on October 17, 2011

Landlord Finds Mentally Disabled People Locked in Basement; 3 Arrested

Sarah Hoye, CNN, October 17, 2011

At first, a Philadelphia landlord said, he thought one of his tenants was attempting to conceal a dog after finding a dog dish in the basement of his apartment building.

But on a return trip to the basement Saturday, Turgut Gozleveli found something much more sinister: four mentally disabled people held captive, including one man chained to a radiator.


Three people have been arrested and accused of holding the people captive and stealing their Social Security checks.


The alleged victims include a 29-year-old woman and three men, ages 31, 35 and 41, said Philadelphia police Lt. Ray Evers.

All seven–the three suspects and four alleged victims–had been traveling together, he said, but did not know for how long. Weston is believed to have been in McLean, Texas, with some or all of the alleged victims. They then traveled to Florida and Philadelphia, Evers said.


The four were in a room roughly 10 feet by 15 feet, Gozleveli said, and looked malnourished and disheveled. They had a metal bucket and a jug of what appeared to be orange juice, but no food. They also had pillows and blankets, but didn’t know where they were or where they had come from, he said.

Authorities believe the four were trapped in the tiny room for up to a week. Evers said they suffered from bed sores and “injuries that are very, very hard to describe.”