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A Minnesota woman was held captive in this Louisiana residence.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office,

David Rodriguez Jr., 37, of Pleasant Hill, La.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office,

Christina Marie Harper, 39, of Pleasant Hill, La.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office,

Ambre Tubbs Lomas, 39, of Shreveport, La.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office,

Minnesota woman escapes 2-year captivity in Louisiana

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • June 9, 2014 - 8:49 AM

– Authorities say that a Minnesota woman was held as a slave in rural Louisiana for two years. The woman escaped captivity and was picked up last week near an exit on Interstate 49 near Natchitoches.

The transgender woman, whose name wasn’t released, reportedly came to Louisiana after meeting her captors online. The victim is in her early 50s and being held in protective custody, authorities said.

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr. said 37-year-old David Rodriguez Jr., one of three arrested in the case, tattooed the woman and registered her as a slave on a website that bills itself as only registering people for consensual submissive or slave relationships.

“In this particular case, the victim probably had some depression, going through the sex change, being disowned by her family,” said Carey Etheredge, criminal investigator and forensic examiner with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office. “Suspects prey on people in this situation. They know how to talk to them, what to say to them to make them feel comfortable and make them think they’re coming to live a different life.”

Also arrested Wednesday were Rodriguez’ wife, 39-year-old Christina Marie Harper, and 39-year-old Ambre Tubbs Lomas of Shreveport, La.

For a time, investigators say, the relationship was consensual. The victim was also given daily chores such as serving meals, tending to animals, installing a swimming pool, digging trenches, removing fallen trees and performing sexual acts. She slept in a 3-by-5- foot wooden box.

Detectives said if the victim failed to complete her work, she was beaten and disciplined by Rodriguez, Harper and Lomas. The discipline allegedly included beatings, carving initials into skin on the victim’s backside, shootings with a stun gun and being doused with urine.

But at some point recently, the woman stated a desire to leave, prompting even harsher treatment.

“They chained her outside for two days and nights, nude, in the woods — no food, no water,” detective Tim Key said. “And then she was put in a storage building in the yard.”

© 2014 Star Tribune