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Wednesday
Oct192011

Girl in Dungeon Basement Case Held 10 Years, Tortured by Captors

Philadelphia Police Department(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 19-year-old girl who has been missing for 10 years has been found with open wounds, burn marks, scars and broken bones by police investigating the alleged basement dungeon and kidnapping ring in Philadelphia.

Beatrice Weston, who was taken at the age of 8 by accused dungeon ringleader Linda Weston, is now in a Philadelphia hospital recovering from the ongoing cruelty and torture by her captors, according to Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. Ray Evers. Linda Weston is the girl's aunt, and police said she took her niece after a family feud with her sister, Vicki Weston.

The girl was found two days after police uncovered a basement dungeon in which four mentally handicapped adults were held against their will. Police have arrested and charged Linda Weston, 51, her daughter Jean McIntosh, 32, Weston's boyfriend Thomas Gregory, 47, and Eddie Wright, 49, with kidnapping, false imprisonment, and other related charges.

Police pleaded with media to let the girl heal in privacy at the hospital.

"This girl was beaten, tortured, absolutely the worst thing you can see one person do to another," said Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey.

Evers said Wednesday after finding the girl that he would be happy to see the four prosecuted wherever the punishments would be the harshest.

"We're going to prepare to prosecute this here or, without hyperbole, wherever the prisons are going to be the worst. Federal prisons might be too nice," he said. "I've never seen anything like this before on a living person, that kind of cruelty over and over again. No penalty is too harsh to the people that did this, absolutely no penalty," Evers said.

The lieutenant said the girl's torture in the "house of horrors" included signs of a spoon being heated and then burned into her skin. She had fractured bones that healed over incorrectly, and bones in her ankles showed the effects of being shot repeatedly with something like a pellet gun, he said. There are open wounds on her head, which she had covered with a hood when police found her. She had scars over her face, arms and legs, he said.

Police found Beatrice Weston among a group of 10 children and teens who were located Tuesday after Florida police tipped off Philadelphia cops that there may be more victims and that Weston had been living with at least seven children in her last home in West Palm Beach, Fla..

Police also took six children into protective custody, two of whom were the children of a mentally handicapped couple who were held captive by Weston for years, police said. The children, ages 2 and 5, were severely malnourished. Evers noted that the 2-year-old girl looked like a 6-month-old baby when she was found.

Police are trying to identify the rest of the group, including three other young adults and four other children.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio