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Police Commissioner Creating Task Force To Probe Philadelphia Captivity Case

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the investigation continues into four mentally disabled adults found locked in the basement of a northeast Philadelphia apartment building, police say there may be dozens more victims by the group headed up by alleged ring-leader Linda Ann Weston.

Police Commissioner Ramsey says he can’t even begin to estimate how many victims may have been caught up in this scheme and has formed a task force to investigate.

“I have no idea, I really don’t. It’s literally growing by the day, we do have 50 different pieces of identification but that happened to be what was on her,” said Ramsey. “This could probably go well beyond that.”

The “her” the commissioner is referring to is alleged ring-leader Linda Ann Weston, 51. Gregory Thomas, 47, and Eddie Wright, 50, were arrested Saturday night and charged with kidnapping and conspiracy after four malnourished mentally challenged adults were found locked in a dark sub-basement area room of a Tacony home. Police believe Weston was stealing the social security checks of the victims locked in the basement.

“This covers many states, social security cards, power of attorney, we don’t know how long this has been going on, perhaps stretching back into the late 1990s,” said Commissioner Ramsey.

Ramsey says Weston’s past shows she’s capable of anything; she served time for starving a man to death in the 80s. A concern he says as they try to figure out the whereabouts of all those people whose IDs they’ve found.

Ramsey expects it will take quite a while to completely unravel this case. It’s still not clear at this point how she gained control of the victims. It’s believed she recently moved the group here to Philadelphia from Florida to escape investigators there.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio

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