Couple claim they were kidnapped

June 5, 2009 5:02:19 PM PDT
A couple ran up to a woman at a carwash in southwest Houston, begging for help, saying they were being held against their will. It happened Friday afternoon at the carwash on west Bellfort southwest Houston. The apartment they escaped from is nearby on Bob White.

In the seemingly quiet apartment complex, police say the young man and wife from Honduras who were smuggled into the U.S. were being held captive in an upstairs unit against their will.

That is, until they escaped.

"They jumped from the back balcony while the suspects were preoccupied," said Officer Alan Brown with the Houston Police Department. "One was sleeping and the other was in a different room."

The couple ran to a nearby car wash and called police. By the time they led officers back to the apartment, the two captors were gone.

Police say the couple was smuggled across the border four days ago at Nueve Laredo, along with five other undocumented immigrants. At one time, there were nine people staying in the apartment.

"They were promised by these folks to get them some jobs and they could work and possibly pay them back," said Brown. "Once they arrived here, that did not quite work out. They just demanded money."

They demanded money from family members in Houston who had to pay up in order to secure their release.

Taylor Berry lives in the same building and says she knew the man renting the unit.

"I hope they catch him or at least try and make the apartment complex a little safer," she said. "That would help."

Family members of the other undocumented immigrants were able to come up with the money for their release. Cases like this one are not all that uncommon in Houston. Often times, the people being held captive are threatened with violence if they try to escape.

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