Police: Woman held captive in pit, neighbor arrested

Blanchester suspect due in court on Thursday
Published: Apr. 26, 2017 at 12:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 27, 2017 at 5:28 AM EDT
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Dennis Dunn (Provided by the Clinton County Jail)
Dennis Dunn (Provided by the Clinton County Jail)
Blanchester police responded to this home on Central Avenue early Wednesday as they...
Blanchester police responded to this home on Central Avenue early Wednesday as they investigated an abduction report. A man was taken into custody shortly after 8 a.m. (FOX19 NOW/Jordan Vilines)
(FOX19 Now)
(FOX19 Now)

BLANCHESTER, OH (FOX19) - A crying woman was found captive in a pit dug in her neighbor's backyard shed early Wednesday, police say.

Dennis Dunn, 45, was arrested and charged with her kidnapping.

Police say he has a history of mental health issues.

Officers first responded to the Blanchester neighborhood at 1:30 a.m. after a woman reported her daughter, Jennifer Elliott, missing from a Central Avenue home, according to Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt.

A neighbor called to report hearing cries from a backyard shed around 4 a.m.

The first officer who arrived also heard the cries, which led him to the shed.

That's where the officer found Elliott, 30, trapped down a pit that had been dug at the bottom of the shed.

The pit was three-and-a-half feet deep and two-feet wide.

A wooden board covered the pit. Heavy objects had been placed on top of the board to hold it down.

Police said it would have been impossible for Elliott to escape.

She was unable to speak and appeared to be suffering from a seizure when she was rescued.

Reinbolt said Elliott showed no signs of physical trauma.

Dunn was handcuffed and placed in the back of a cruiser amid heavy police presence at a Central Avenue home shortly after 8:15 a.m.

Elliott reported harassing phone calls and messages from Dunn in October 2016, Reinbolt said.

She declined to pursue charges against Dunn.

[Police: Kidnapping suspect has history of mental health issues]

[Neighbor: Kidnapping suspect was a 'keep to himself type']

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Dunn is well-known to Blanchester police.

He was charged April 6 with disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana after police say he repeatedly called them to his home because he heard voices or thought people were trying to get in.

He was transported to Clinton Memorial Hospital and then the Clinton County Jail Wednesday.

Dunn was held without bond and scheduled to appear before a Clinton County judge at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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