In a chilling case that is reminiscent of the plot line in the horror story Silence of the Lambs, a woman was held captive in a pit under a neighbor’s shed.
Earlier today, Jennifer Elliott, age 30, was rescued from the pit in her neighbor Dennis Dunn’s backyard in Blanchester, Ohio.
Elliott’s mother reported her missing around 1:30 a.m.
Then a neighbor called to report hearing cries from a backyard shed around 4 a.m.
The first officer who arrived also heard the cries, which led him to the shed.
That’s where the officer found Elliott, 30, trapped down a pit that had been dug at the bottom of the shed. The pit was 3 and a half feet deep and two feet wide.
A wooden board covered the pit. Heavy objects had been placed on top of the board to hold it down.
Police said it would have been impossible for Elliott to escape. She was apparently suffering a seizure when she was rescued.
The following is video footage of the shed:
— Eric Frisbee (@Fox19Frisbee) April 26, 2017
Dunn, 45, was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Officers were stationed outside the home with guns drawn for hours before he walked out the front door.
Dennis Dunn, image credit Fox 19
Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said, “We were awaiting the arrival of the tactical entry team from Warren County from the sheriff’s office and Dunn came to the front door and walked out like he was going for a stroll and we arrested him.”
Dunn is no stranger to the police – he has known mental health issues, and has had run-ins with the cops before. Last month, police say Dunn called them multiple times saying he heard voices, and that someone was trying to break into his home. Each time, officers checked his home and found nothing.
In one incident, neighbors called police to report that Dunn was out in his yard with a gun in his hand. Police arrived and were able to get Dunn to put down his weapon, and he was taken to Clermont Mercy Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Earlier this month (before the kidnapping incident), Reinbolt told Wilmington News Journal that Dunn’s case highlights flaws in Ohio’s mental health system:
“This is a case that illustrates the failure of the mental health system in Ohio. It would appear to me that Mr. Dunn is in need of some sort of psychiatric treatment. He was taken to a mental health provider in order to receive that treatment. Within 24 hours he was released, but continues to exhibit the same symptoms.
“Over the past several decades the State of Ohio has closed most of its inpatient mental health facilities, leaving few beds available for individuals who need inpatient care. Unfortunately, I am convinced that doing so has left individuals like Mr. Dunn without the care and treatment they need and deserve.”
In October 2016, Elliott reported harassing phone calls and messages from Dunn, Reinbolt said, but she declined to pursue charges.
Reinbolt said Elliott shows no signs of physical trauma.
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Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”