A woman who had been missing for over two months was found alive over the weekend. Joelle Lockwood, a 40-year-old mother of two, was found trapped in the trailer of Ricky Roy House Jr., 37, and Kendra Tooley, 44.
According to Ron Higgs, the man who discovered Lockwood, Lockwood was naked in a wooden cage when he found her. Police say Lockwood was being used as a sexual and domestic slave at the trailer.
The case started two months ago when Lockwood went home with House after a party. Once the two were back at House’s trailer, House held Lockwood hostage and forced her into a cage. She was held captive at the trailer for the next two months, and spent her time either locked in the cage or performing chores at the house. Higgs says Lockwood was being held in the cage with a leash around her neck when he found her.
Higgs is the ex-husband of Kendra Tooley, the woman living at the trailer. Tooley called him to the trailer because she needed money. When Higgs arrived, he said House and Tooley openly talked about holding Lockwood hostage.
“She had a t-shirt on, and that was it,” said Higgs to WFIE. “She had a leather belt, like a dog collar on. Every night, they locked her in there. No food, no water.”
Higgs says House was trying to impregnate Lockwood.
“The whole time during it all they was talking about a baby. 'She's not leaving here until she has the baby. I'm not selling her, you're not taking her, you're not doing nothing.'" Higgs said. "She told me Ricky was raping her, making her have oral sex. Kendra can't have more children and Ricky doesn't have any children of his own. I hate to say this to the public or even her even hearing it, but I think they were just going to have a baby and we would never see her again."
On Higgs' second night at the trailer, Lockwood approached him with tears in her eyes.
“That's when she told me on the second night with tears running down her eyes, 'please, do not leave here without me,’” Higgs recalls. “And I promised her, if ‘I have to give my life to get you out of here I will.’”
Higgs says he had a gun pointed at him as he rescued Lockwood. He was able to knock the gun out of House's hands and fight him off. Next he grabbed Lockwood, who was being beaten by Tooley. Higgs and Lockwood then fled from the trailer.
Lockwood’s family and friends posted celebratory messages to Facebook over the weekend.
“I just really want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us and has supported Joelle's family,” said family friend Amanda Crowe. “It means the world to all of us that the community has come out and has helped to find her.”
Higgs is downplaying any talk of him being a hero.
“Everyone is calling me a hero,” Higgs said. “I’m just a purebred American, that I believe.”
House and Tooley have been arrested on criminal confinement and rape charges.