Mentally challenged adults chained in basement

TACONY - October 15, 2011

Joan Sendef of Tacony said, "I didn't hear that and that's really heartbreaking to me."

Saturday night, an officer stood guard in the doorway of an apartment building on Longshore Avenue in t he Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia

Around, 10 this morning, police say, the landlord thought squatters were hiding out in the small room used for storage and holds the water heater, but instead he found 3 men and a woman in their 40s, all malnourished with the mental capacity of a 10 year old.

"It's obviously very unsettling. it's not even the basement, it's a sub basement, it's a closet, 15 by 15 with a heater, very disturbing," said Captain Frank Bachmayer of the Philadelphia Police.

The victims were freed from their sub basement prison and transported to the hospital where their conditions are stable. Detectives spent hours questioning two people but wouldn't say if they were the caregivers. We do not know how long the victims were in the room.

Rob Hoey of Tacony says, "I work with people like that for years and I have a soft spot for people who are mentally challenged, so that's the thing that hurts the most."

Crime scene investigators gathered evidence including the chains used to bound the victims.

Rob Hoey lives in the building and never heardt a thing. "It's just crazy that somebody in real life can do this, this is only stuff you hear in movies."

The police commissioner has ordered his officers to continue holding the scene on Longshore avenue. We have learned other agencies could be involved in this investigation.

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