Police are investigating an incident in which four mentally challenged adults were found chained to a boiler in a Tacony basement.
Officers responding to the 4700 block of Longshore Avenue for reports of squatters in a property around 10 a.m. yesterday instead found three men and one woman between the ages of 29 and 41, each with the mental capacity of a 10-year-old, in a locked basement boiler room behind a steel door. They were all chained to the heater.
The victims suffered from malnutrition and were taken to Aria-Frankford Hospital, where they are in stable condition.
Three people were arrested for their involvement in the incident. Police are not releasing their names at this time. At least one of those arrested is reportedly from Texas, where the victims may have been held for some time. Police say they also lived with one of the captors in West Palm Beach, Fla. before arriving in Philadelphia around Oct. 4.
The victims were allegedly part of a human trafficking scheme and may have been held captive for their social security checks. The FBI and other agencies are reportedly involved due to allegations of kidnapping across state lines.
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