Where those houses all feature neat lawns and large backyard decks, the one-story rental property where police arrested Kariem Moore, 43, has weeds, discarded trash and tiles missing from the roof.
Moore, who spent time years ago at a homeless shelter in Fairfax, Virginia, was taken into custody on Saturday after law enforcement officers arrived at the house in the 3600 block of Mine Road for a welfare check, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's office said.
While sheriff's deputies were talking to Moore, a 32-year-old woman and two children, ages 11 and 8, fled the house and said they had not been allowed outside for two years.
The woman, whom authorities described as Moore's girlfriend, was hospitalized in serious condition, said sheriff's office spokesman Charles Carey. The children, who referred to Moore as their father, are staying with relatives, Carey said.
Moore has been charged with three felony counts of abduction and felony assault and battery, Carey said, and is being held without bond at Rappahannock Regional Jail.
Dave Larrabee, director of operations for the Lamb Center - a day center for the homeless in Fairfax - said Moore frequented the facility for about four or five months in 2012, with his wife and young son.
Larrabee said the family would spend nights living in their car and that he recalled Moore saying he had been formerly incarcerated.
"I do remember he had a temper," Larrabee said. "He got angry at some of the other guests. I had a way of calming him down."
Moore's mother, Harriette Moore, said in a brief phone interview that she hadn't seen her son in as many as five years. She said she was still trying to learn more about the allegations against him.
"It's a shock. I'm trying to hold up. I can't get it together," said Harriette Moore, who is in her 60s and is retired from working in government. She lives in Philadelphia. "He was raised correctly. I raised my children to make their own way and become someone in the world."
She said the last time she saw Moore, he was with his significant other, who was using a wheelchair, and their children. She said Moore was taking care of her. She did not know if the couple had married.
"I said: 'Oh, I guess somebody does live there," James recalled on Thursday. "I'd never seen them, didn't know they were there, didn't have any idea anybody had been living there."
Kevin Johnson, a high school teacher who lives with his family on a cul-de-sac directly behind the house, said he hadn't seen "any kind of activity there, ever."
Johnson, who teaches geography and social studies at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania County, said the neighborhood is generally filled with kids playing outside, with one or two parents casually keeping watch.
Many parents in the area home-school their children, he said.
"We're a relatively close knit neighborhood, where people usually know what's going on," Johnson said. "It's really sad. It's awful."
The case appears to resemble a handful of others that have drawn headlines and horrified attention in recent years.
In May 2013, three women were rescued from a house in Cleveland after being abducted a decade beforehand while in their teens and early 20s. The women - along with the 6-year-old daughter of one of the women, Amanda Berry - escaped after Berry got the attention of a neighbor and convinced him to help kick in the lower part of the home's front door. Berry then was able to call 911 from across the street.
In 2006, an Austrian girl was released after being kidnapped and held for more than eight years. Two years later, Austria was again shaken by the release of a woman imprisoned by her father in a basement dungeon for 24 years - over which time she bore him seven children. And two months after that, a woman was found near a town in Naples, Italy, after she had been kept in a locked room in her family's home for 18 years.
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