There are certain crimes that when you hear about them, it sounds like a bad plot to a movie. But for one Indiana woman, it was a real nightmare. Joelle Lockwood, age 30, is a mother of two who went missing in early July. The last time people saw her, she was reportedly standing on a street corner, drunk and waiting for a ride. She took a ride from an acquaintance Ricky House Jr., 37, who invited her to his trailer home. When Lockwood got to the house House’s wife, Kendra Tooley, who used chloroform to knock her unconscious, assaulted her.
When Lockwood awoke, she had a dog collar around her neck and was stuffed into a 2-foot high cage naked. She was a sex slave by House and Tooley for over 60 days. It was not until a friend of the couple came to visit that she had a chance at freedom. Ronald Higgs met Joelle Lockwood last Thursday for the first time. He was unaware of the deviant nature of the couple and the vile things that were being done to Lockwood. Higgs is the ex-husband of Tooley and he claims that his ex-wife told him about Joelle. According to Higgs, Tooley stated, “I’ve got a girl back here in a cage.”
When Lockwood was brought out, she was wearing only a T-shirt and a dog collar and a rope tied around her neck being treated apparently like a slave. She even cooked meals for everyone in the trailer and actually begged for food. Higgs returned on Friday night and that is when Lockwood begged him not to leave her there. It was at that time that Higgs knew something was definitely wrong and he took action. At first he pleaded with the couple to let Lockwood go, to no avail. He even tried to buy Lockwood’s freedom but the couple was not willing to sell. Higgs, who is 61, even finally decided to physically fight Ricky House and Kendra Tooley to free the young woman. House grabbed a shotgun and put it to the head of Higgs and threatened to kill him. Higgs did not back down and head-butted House.
Higgs escaped from the trailer with the badly beaten Lockwood. According to Higgs, Tooley yelled “She is not leaving until she has a baby,” during the fight. Lockwood told Higgs that she had been a prisoner for over two months and was forced to have oral sex and to try to conceive a child by Ricky House. House and Tooley will be formally charged with rape and criminal confinement this week.