Couple charged with holding disabled woman hostage

March 27, 2012 2:16:42 PM PDT
People in the neighborhood knew the couple. What they didn't know was a dark secret - the horrible way they allegedly treated their victim.

"I am just devastated that somebody could torture somebody. That's just gross," store employee Christine Donohue said.

Donohue can't believe it. Others can't believe it. Police found an emaciated 58- year old partially paralyzed woman held against her will inside a small room in a second floor apartment in a building on the Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Prosecutors say she was kidnapped and taken to the apartment by 42-year old Patrick Donovan and 63 year old Mae Washington. Investigators said their motive was the victim's 25-hundred dollars in social security money each month. She was locked in the room for more than a year.

"We seen them come and go, but we didn't know nothing like that of them. You never know. Like I said, we never know," neighbor Louis Butler said.

Donohue would see the couple come in the store where she works.

"Just like regular customers, coming and going, just like everybody else," Donahue said.

But Agnes Day, who lives downstairs, accuses the couple of breaking into her apartment and allegedly stealing cash and other valuables, but to learn of the victim?

"Deplorable. How could people be like that? It's disgusting," she said.

Prosecutors say the victim was treated for broken ribs, a broken arm and a dislocated shoulder. She was also severely malnourished.

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