Fla. woman: Weston held daughter captive

PHILADELPHIA - October 25, 2011

She is from Florida where Weston had spent time as part of her alleged traveling kidnapping scheme.

The alleged victim's mother Barbara Dameus told our ABC station in West Palm Beach that she did not want to show her face because she fears retribution.

She says that alleged ringleader Linda Weston held her 13-year-old daughter Andrea captive in a house for two months under deplorable conditions until the girl escaped.

"They fed her once a week, she bathed once a week. She was 98 pounds when she came back," Dameus said.

Barbara's daughter had run away from home last December. All along she suspected she was staying at Weston's house because Andrea was friends with two of Weston's daughters. But police say there was no evidence Andrea was there and there was nothing they could do.

"There was no reason to believe there was any juveniles in danger," West Palm Beach Police Sgt. David Lefont said.

Still, the girl's mother didn't believe it.

"There were too many young kids over there so the second time I went, me and my husband went, I asked a neighbor have you seen her cause I post pictures everywhere, they said, 'yes, she's been staying here,'" Dameus said.

Barbara was frantic. She even confronted Linda Weston herself and accused her of hiding her daughter.

"I said, 'How could you, you're a mother, she's 13', she's like, 'Well, I help every kid that's in need,'" Dameus said.

The mother says in reality, Weston trapped her daughter.

Andrea claims she was sexually abused and tortured.

When she finally escaped, her family was shocked at her frailty and rushed her to the hospital.

"She was 98 pounds. She had cigarette burns everywhere and I was trying to get information out of her; she was scared," Dameus said.

With the multi-state investigation ongoing, Weston appeared in court yesterday at which point her attorney, George Yacoubian Jr., spoke publicly about the case and their client.

"She appeared very lethargic when I spoke with her. I spoke with her for approximately 45 minutes about the case and we discussed the gravity of the offenses," Yacoubian Jr. said.

Weston's attorney says he's almost certain his client's mental state must be evaluated. The district attorney has indicated there will be more charges filed in connection with this case.

A preliminary hearing is now set for December 19th.

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.