Rescued woman’s mom: Family delighted she’s home

Ricky Roy House, Jr., and Kendra Tooley (WFIE/Posey County Jail)

MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (AP) — A woman who was freed after being held captive for two months in southwestern Indiana continued to recover at home Tuesday while neighbors questioned why they never sensed anything amiss.

The 30-year-old woman, who disappeared July 9, was freed Saturday by a man who visited the rural Posey County home where officials say she was raped, beaten and kept in a small wooden cage.

Ricky Roy House Jr., 37, and his girlfriend, Kendra Tooley, 44, were formally charged Monday with rape, criminal confinement, kidnapping and other felonies in a case one investigator likened to “modernized slavery.” The couple were ordered held on $50,000 cash-only bonds.

Neighbors of the couple told The Indianapolis Star Tuesday that they never noticed anything strange at the mobile home in Stewartsville where the woman was held.

“Any of us would’ve torn the doors down to get her,” said resident Alicia Phillips.

Prosecutors have said the woman was only allowed outside the mobile home three times during her captivity, all of which were at night. She told police she had no interaction with anyone but her captors until Ronald Higgs, Tooley’s ex-husband, visited the mobile home shortly before her rescue.

She has credited Higgs with freeing her after she told him she was being held against her will. Higgs did not return phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth praised Higgs’ actions.

“What a situation to be in, going to a residence and uncovering this and becoming aware of it and then having to come up with a plan to get this individual out of there,” Oeth told the Evansville Courier & Press. “I’m glad he did what he did.”

The victim’s mother said the family is delighted her daughter is back home with her two children and is pleased that charges have been filed against House and Tooley.

“We want them prosecuted” she said.

The Associated Press is not naming the woman or her mother because it typically does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

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