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Missing woman escapes cage after two months

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-08 22:21:23-04

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — She was held captive for two months in Southern Indiana, inside a cage, inside a mobile home.

joelle-lockwood

Joelle Lockwood (SOURCE: WXIN)

Joelle Lockwood, 30, was last seen July 9. She left the apartment of a friend that night after an argument, and was described by her friend as heavily intoxicated, according to court paperwork.

Lockwood then took a ride from a friend who saw her on the street. They “used narcotics” at a residence and then her friend dropped her off at another location to see some other friends, according to the probable cause affidavit.

No one heard from her again until Sept. 6.

Lockwood told police hat the two people arrested in connection with the case, Ricky Roy House Jr., 37, and Kendra Tooley, 44, had offered her a ride that fateful night. When she decided she was ready to leave, according to court documents,  House “placed chloroform over her mouth and nose, causing her to lose consciousness.”

Two suspects charged. (SOURCE: WXIN)

Two suspects charged. (SOURCE: WXIN)

Lockwood was beaten and forced to stay in a wooden cage built by House, that was about two and a half feet tall.

She only allowed to go out on three occasions, according to reports on WXIN. She was forced to wear a red dog collar with a rope or leash attached to it, and was repeatedly sexually abused, court documents revealed.

It was Tooley’s ex-husband, Ronald Higgs, that allegedly helped Lockwood escape. According to court documents, he visited the trailer on two days. That’s when Lockwood confided to him that she been held against her will and begged him for help.

“She says please don’t leave here without me. I said what’s the matter? She says I’ve been here for over 60 days and they put me in that cage,” Higgs told WEHT.

He returned on Sept. 6, and was threatened by House with a sawed-off shotgun. Higgs fought him off and the pair escaped the mobile home, according to court documents.

Before the fight Higgs says he tried to buy Lockwood’s freedom, and that’s when he discovered the sinister reason she was allegedly being held.

“But 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. Kendra can’t have more children and Ricky doesn’t have any children of his home. 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 told WEHT.

Formal charges were filed againt House and Tooley on Monday, Sept. 8. Preliminary charges against them include rape, kidnapping, criminal confinement and conspiracy to commit rape.