PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A fourth person has been charged in the case of the four malnourished, mentally incapacitated adults being held captive in a basement in Northeast Philadelphia.
As of Wednesday, authorities say eight children and five adults suspected of being abused by Linda Weston are now in protective custody.
Now the FBI is joining the investigation into the alleged scheme to collect social security checks from the victims.
Police say 32-year-old Jean McIntosh (below right) is the fourth person sitting in jail. Mcintosh is the daughter of Weston.
Weston was arrested on Saturday along with Gregory Thomas and Eddie Wright. Police are holding the four suspects responsible for kidnapping, starving and beating four mentally challenged adults found in a dungeon-like subbasement in Tacony. (see related story).
Police also revealed, in an apartment above in the same building, the suspects were hiding Weston’s niece, Beatrice.
Lt. Ray Evers with the Philadelphia Police Department explained, “When we were serving search warrants at the 4700 block of Longshore Avenue, we have information that Beatrice was hidden in that house and we did not know that.”
Beatrice was reported missing in 2009.
Commissioner Charles Ramsey added, “Beatrice, we were told, was in NJ with her boyfriend and when they went to the house to look, there was nothing to indicate anything was going on at the time.”
Now 19 years old, police found Beatrice locked in a closet, severely malnourished and abused.
“We’re talking about burn marks. It looks like a spoon was heated and burned. She got fractures that have healed over. Her ankles, you can see someone took a pellet gun or some kind and shot her repeatedly. She has wounds to the head. She’s got a garb over her head to hide the scars.”
Police say it appears the eight children they removed so far — two of them possibly belonging to one of Weston’s victims — had all been traveling with the suspects for years while Weston evaded arrest.
“That’s what we’re told. She was actually being hidden so these are people that are hiding the victims. They were moving them around, they were in Virginia, Texas, Florida, they could have been in North Carolina,” Commissioner Ramsey said.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams added, “People have asked me, what do I want to happen to these people or where should they be prosecuted? Wherever the prison’s going to be the worst. Federal prison might be too nice.”
Late Wednesday night, Beatrice’s mother told Eyewitness News on the phone, she is angry and upset because she believes the system failed her and she, too, feels victimized.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3; Steve Beck, CBSPhilly.com
'Basement Of Horror' Coverage
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- READ:Preliminary Hearing Set
- READ:Former Neighbor Of Linda Weston Searching For “Little L”
- READ: Grandparents of Rescued Kids Will Seek Custody
- READ: 4th Suspect Arrested In Tacony ‘Dungeon’ Case
- READ: Understanding The ‘Basement Of Horror’ Case
- READ: Exclusive: Brother Of ‘Basement Of Horror’ Suspect Describes History Of Violence
- READ: Police Commissioner Creating Task Force To Probe Philadelphia Captivity Case
- READ: Exclusive: Victims Describe Horrific Basement Captivity
- READ: Missing Florida Teen Found In Philadelphia, Linked To Basement Captive Case
- PHOTOS: 4 Adults, 6 Children In Custody In Connection With ‘Basement Of Horror’ Case
- READ: 3 Charged After 4 Disabled Adults Found Locked In Tacony ‘Dungeon’