A middle-aged US couple have been arrested on suspicion of abducting, caging, and repeatedly raping a woman in their trailer so she would give birth to the man's baby.
The two-month ordeal of Joelle Lockwood, from Evansville, Indiana, began on 9 July when she was walking and accepted a lift from an old school acquaintance, Ricky Roy House Jr. She agreed to go to the trailer home House, 37, shared with Kendra Tooley, 44, in nearby Stewartsville.
According to court records, when Lockwood tried to leave "Ricky placed chloroform over her mouth and nose causing her to lose consciousness." She awoke to find herself tied to a bed in the trailer with her clothes cut off.
Over the following two months Lockwood was kept tied up, and sometimes kept in a cage House built. She was repeatedly assaulted with a belt and raped by House and Tooley and given little food or water, it is alleged.
Lockwood's ordeal only ended when Ron Higgs, Tooley's former husband, arrived at the trailer to help House fix a vehicle. Higgs was shocked to discover Lockwood naked with a dog leash round her neck. She claimed she was being raped and begged him not to leave her.
Higgs says he tried to "buy" Lockwood from the couple, but they refused. "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," Higgs continued. "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."
Higgs returned a couple of days later to tell House he was taking Lockwood away. According to an affidavit from a police officer: "Ronald and Ricky then got into a heated discussion. Ricky then placed a sawed off shotgun to Ronald's chin and threatened to kill him. Ronald told (House) that he would have to shoot him because he was taking (the woman) away."
Higgs then apparently head-butted House and was able to take Lockwood away to safety, at which point they contacted police who raided the trailer and arrested the couple. House and Tooley have been charged with a number of offences including rape, conspiracy to commit rape, criminal confinement, kidnapping, battery resulting in bodily injury and pointing a firearm.