Police arrested three people outside Cleveland on Tuesday who’d been holding a mentally disabled woman and her daughter captive in what a U.S. district attorney described as “subhuman” conditions for over a year. According to federal prosecutors, the captors collected their prisoner’s government benefits, beat her for painkillers, and forced her to feed fruits and vegetables they wouldn’t give her daughter to the free-range iguana with which she was forced to room. The mother and daughter were also allegedly forced to eat dog food, sometimes out of cans, while the kidnappers’ pit bulls dined on table food. The three have been charged with forced labor, and one them faces a potential count of tampering with a witness. The mother of one of the suspects has already denied the allegations and claims that the woman was actually paying to stay at the apartment and could leave at any time.
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