Mary Lou Petrucci, 55, of Reading, Pennsylvania, was charged Friday with holding Harold Scheaffer, 72, in her home against his will. The home is in the 1500 block of Mineral Springs Road. Neighbors called it a "House of Horrors,” reports sfgate.com.
According to police, Scheaffer and Petrucci had been dating and he moved into the house in 2010. Court documents indicate the two broke up shortly after Scheaffer moved in.
Scheaffer said Petrucci lived on the second floor and he was held prisoner in one room on the first floor. Police allege that Petrucci locked Scheaffer in a room with access to a bathroom and nailed the windows shut.
Scheaffer told police on October 19, after his daughter had rescued him from the house, that Petrucci locked him in the room from July to September and fed him only once a day. He said he could not recall the exact dates, according to publicopiniononline.com.
On Friday, when authorities arrested Mary Lou Petrucci, they found animal feces throughout her house and also numerous domestic animals and wildlife--some running around freely and some in cages--and an estimated thousands of dollars in health-code violations.
Petrucci was arraigned before District Justice Michael Leonardziak on charges of false imprisonment and recklessly endangering another person. The judge said Petrucci still owes $12,000 in fines for other offenses. Police said Petrucci was fined in the past for hoarding dozens of animals and for health code violations.
DAUGHTER PAID RANSOM TO FREE HER FATHER
Scheaffer's daughter, Lynanne, said a two-month search for her father led her to Petrucci's home. “There were a lot of times I couldn't sleep,” Lynanne Schaeffer told WFMZ-TV. “Anxiety, stress, frustration, anger, pretty much everything.” “She's a monster, pretty much," said Scheaffer.
Petrucci allegedly had started dating another man after Schaeffer’s father moved in with her, stated Lynanne Schaeffer, and the man was living mostly in his car parked on the property.
Lynanne said she learned Sept. 13 that her father, who suffers from the early stages of dementia, was locked in the room. That's when she said she ran into Petrucci's new lover and asked him for help..." More