NATCHITOCHES, La. (KTBS) -A joint investigation by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office, Natchitoches Parish District Attorney's Office, and Louisiana State Police, has led to the arrest of three people in what is being classified as the most "severe and disturbing" case of Human Trafficking ever investigated in Natchitoches Parish according to Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones Jr.
The investigation began on Saturday night May 31st, at approximately 11:11pm, when a Robeline Asst. Town Marshal contacted the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office reporting that he had come in contact with a female attached to a logging chain around her and a bucket at a business near the Intersections of Interstate-49 and University Parkway (La. Hwy 6 West) near Natchitoches, La.
Deputies assigned to the NPSO Patrol Division responded to the scene.
Deputies say during the initial stages of the investigation, they learned the victim had been held captive chained outside and in a building against her will for several days in the 500 block of Dick Anderson Road near Ajax, La. , in northwest Natchitoches Parish.
While being held captive, the victim was able to free herself and take one of the suspect's vehicle driving it to Natchitoches.
The victim was transported from the scene by NPSO Deputies to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center suffering from numerous lacerations and bruises to the body. The logging chain was removed by Natchitoches City Firemen. NPSO Detectives were notified and responded to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. After being treated and released from Natchitoches Regional Medical Center, the victim was placed in protective custody.
On Monday, as the investigation progressed NPSO Detectives summoned the assistance of the Louisiana State Police Special Victims Unit. Detectives say during the course of the investigation, they learned that the victim (an out of state resident) initially met a Ajax couple identified as David Rodriguez Jr. and Christina Marie Harper online and agreed to voluntarily move into their home several months ago. Rodriguez actually drove to the victim's out-of-state residence and assisted her in packing and moving to his residence. While living with the couple, detectives learned that the victim became enslaved by Rodriguez. Rodriguez allegedly made the victim turn over all cash and relinquish ownership of a 1999 Harley Davidson motorcycle to him. Soon afterwards the victim was allegedly tattooed by Rodriguez with a tattoo registering her as a slave on a website.
The victim was given a list of daily chores to complete by her master which included serving meals, drinks, taking care of animals, leveling dirt for a swimming pool, installing a swimming pool, digging trenches, removal of fallen trees and performing sexual acts.
Detectives also learned if the victim failed to perform any assigned duties, she was subject to beatings and discipline by Rodriguez, Harper, and a third person identified as Amber Lomas which included beatings, carving initials into undisclosed areas of her body, tazed and urine being thrown on her.
At some point, the beatings and discipline became so severe, the victim told her master that she wanted to leave, consequently causing them to chain her outside in the woods, then moved into a building where she was fed once a day, and given limited water and urine to drink.
NPSO Chief Investigator Greg Dunn stated on June 4th, Detectives executed a search warrant on the couple residence located in the 500 block of Dick Anderson Road, near Ajax, La., which resulted in the seizure of fifteen firearms, a stun gun, four computers, 2-tablet computers, three external hard drives, one digital camera, one digital video camera, and an Ipod.
Two children in the residence, ages: fifteen and sixteen were removed by the State Office of Child Protective Services.
Sheriff Jones stated detectives, Louisiana State Police and members of the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney's Office spent hours putting this case together, obtaining sufficient evidence and probable cause to secure criminal warrants signed by a Tenth Judicial District Court Judge.
On Wednesday morning June 4th at approximately 8:15am, all three suspects involved in the investigation turned themselves in to the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office.
As a result of the investigation, deputies arrested:
David Rodriguez Jr., 37 of Pleasant Hill, La., was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Human Trafficking, 1-count of Aggravated Second Degree Battery, 1-count of Second Degree Kidnapping/False Imprisonment, and 2-counts of Offenses against Computer Users. His bond is set at $635,000 dollars.
Christina Marie Harper, 39 of Pleasant Hill, La., was also booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Human Trafficking, 1-count of Aggravated Second Degree Battery, 1-count of Second Degree Kidnapping/False Imprisonment, and 2-counts of Offenses against Computer Users. Her bond set at $635,000 dollars.
Ambre Tubbs Lomas, 39 of Shreveport, La., was booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-count of Second Degree Kidnapping/False Imprisonment, and 1-count of Aggravated Second Degree Battery. Her bond is set at $525,000 dollars.
All three suspects remain in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center.
Sheriff Jones, extends his appreciation to Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Van Kyzar, Colonel Michael D. Edmondson and the Louisiana State Police along with all of the NPSO Deputies that were involved in this intense investigation.