Police Release IDs Of Three Suspects In Tacony Basement Tragedy

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The suspects have now been identified in the horrific discovery of four malnourished, mentally incapacitated adults being held captive in a basement in Northeast Philadelphia.

The suspects are Linda Ann Weston, 51, from the 2500 block of North 29th Street; Gregory Thomas, 47, from the 2500 block of North 29th Street; and Eddie Wright, a 50-year-old homeless man.

weston thomaswright dl1 Police Release IDs Of Three Suspects In Tacony Basement TragedyWeston, Thomas, and Wright were arrested Saturday night for their involvement in the kidnapping and are facing charges of criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, kidnapping, criminal trespass, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and related offenses.

Four adults were found locked in a room, suffering from malnutrition in a Tacony home Saturday afternoon, according to Philadelphia police.

Officials say the unidentified adults, all between the ages of 29 and 41, were found locked inside a room in the basement of a home in the 4700 block of Longshore Avenue, in the Tacony section of Northeast Philadelphia.

The victims were there for a little over a week, but their ordeal started several years ago.  Police say that over the last two years the victims were transported from Texas to Florida and then finally confined to a basement in Philadelphia.

“It’s very unsettling. It’s not even a basement, it’s a sub-basement. It’s a closet, 15 by 15, with a heater. Very disturbing,” said Philadelphia police captain Frank Bachmayer.

The victims, three men and one woman, all said to have the mental capacities of 10-year-olds, were taken to Aria Health’s Frankford campus and are listed in stable condition.

“The 41-year-old male was chained to the boiler,” said Philadelphia police lieutenant Ray Evers.

“What we believe is that the female suspect was taking the mentally challenged adults that have learning disabilities and physical disabilities, we believe she was using their SSI checks and basically taking their money.”

“It’s just really baffling that another human being could treat people this way,” said Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Richard Ross. “When you look at the conditions they were kept in, it was something like a dungeon.”

Police say it appears Weston was the mastermind behind the entire operation. According to court documents, Weston was found guilty a few decades ago for allegedly murdering her sister’s boyfriend by locking him in a closet and refusing to feed him.

rob taylor Police Release IDs Of Three Suspects In Tacony Basement Tragedy“She’s rotten to have challenged people in a cellar, locked up against a heater. You don’t even treat an animal like that,” said the cousin of suspect Gregory Thomas, Rob Taylor.

Rob Hoey has lived in the building for seven months and is in disbelief. “It’s just crazy that somebody in real life could do something like this. This is something you only see in movies.”

Wright and Thomas are being held on $500,000 bail. Weston has not been arraigned at this time.

The Special Victims Unit continues to investigate this case.

Reported By Stasia DeMarco, Crystal Cranmore, CBSPhilly.com; Oren Leibermann, Jericka Duncan, CBS 3; Dan Wing, KYW Newsradio


One Comment

  1. Zzbar says:

    The homeless man Eddie Wright, should have been living in that basement. Then CBS would of had an address for him instead of homeless. Swift and serious convictions for these three sc*m.

  2. Katherine says:

    What do you think goes on with our mentally disabled children and young adults. Being a Mom of a disabled daughter and knowing the conditions that some of these young people live in and the people who care for them is very frightening. There are many good souls and good group homes but unless our children have advocates these horrific stories will continue to occur. Does Philadelphia not have a good Regional Center?? This is the year of 2011.

  3. Wise One says:

    What about a desciption of the victims. Who are they?

  4. Linda says:

    There should be no bail for these animals that would take a helpless human being and lock them in a basement or anywhere else. The punishment should be the same as murder. Not enough words to show my anger and disgust.

  5. Derrickblogs says:

    And I thought I heard it all but this tops the charts for insane thinking. I have done some wild things in my life but never thought anything like this would ever happen but then again we never know whats coming up next, but we have to consider that there are always people we have to look and care for and there are wolves these people are not even human, they think like animals. This is a crazy story I would say they have to bring in the firing line and just line some of these people up and gun them down because they only understand violence and nothing more.

  6. Where is Rocky when we need someone kick some arse?

  7. kelprod says:

    When police find the person(s) responsible for confining these mentally challanged adults, it is my hope that that the offenders are dealt with using 3 spikes & a cross. frjimt…I agree with you 100%. The sad part is that our governments waste unimaginable amounts of money and yet we have nowhere near the proper amount of funding to help those in need and their families. I will personally bring the hammer and drive the spikes into the cross.

  8. frjimt says:

    Welcome to a society that “disposes” of this type of person…….so easily….. so why are we shocked that it happens.
    No respect for life in the womb……. what little respect there will be for life in other stages.

    1. Roman Doroshenko says:

      Well said!

    2. TJ says:

      Just wait until Obama care comes in to effect…..

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