HOUSTON — A 30-year-old man is in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after surviving 10 days of hell inside a southwest Houston home.
The man escaped from the house in the 11000 block of Bexley Drive on Wednesday around 2 p.m. He was wearing nothing but underwear and shackled at the ankles.
A neighbor in another part of the neighborhood called 911 after seeing the man scale a fence.
The neighbor, who does not want to be named, gave the man clothes and water and then listened as the two waited for police.
“He had chains on his ankles with locks on them, coming up to his hands. He had a little 2x4 that he had pulled out of the wall,” explained the neighbor.
The man told the neighbor he had made it from Honduras to McAllen, Texas. He reportedly met some coyotes, who brought him to Houston with false promises.
"He did say that for the past 10 days he’d been kept there, they’d only feed him once a day,” said the neighbor who called 911.
The man was being held prisoner inside a room in the home, where he was taunted with guns.
His captors, a woman and a man in his late teens, reportedly wanted $3,000 from their hostage’s family.
“He was nervous. He was asking if they were going to send him back. I said, don’t even worry about that,” recalled the neighbor.
Authorities surrounded the home in question shortly after the neighbor’s 911 call.
SWAT eventually stormed inside the home. By then, the house was empty.
“SWAT did tell us, all of the windows are boarded up with plywood, and that’s a pretty good indication that he was being held against his will, and they didn’t want anybody in the neighborhood to know,” said HPD spokesman John Cannon.
Officers were camped out at the house through much of Tuesday night as the search continued for the two suspects.
Neighbors said they rarely saw the pair that started renting the home about a month ago. According to neighbors, the renters avoided eye contact when they were seen by people in the area.
“I’m surprised because I never hear nothing bad. The neighborhood is quiet. Nothing has ever happened over here,” said neighbor Alba Acosta.
Police weren’t sure if others had been held captive at the home on Bexley Drive during the last month.