EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio– A Garfield Heights woman is recovering from severe frostbite after police say she was kept in a freezer, possibly for days. She managed to escape and crash a car, which led police to arrest a suspect in East Cleveland.
The woman was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center for treatment. She told police the last thing she remembers is attending a party at a group home on Sunday.
On Tuesday afternoon, East Cleveland police arrested 41-year-old Eric Glaze on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder.
“The next thing I know, I’m talking about police everywhere, and I seen the SWAT dudes come up and kick the door in,” said neighbor Aaron Dennis.
East Cleveland police said they were first alerted to a problem around 10 a.m. That’s when a Garfield Heights woman crashed her car near East 115th Street and Superior Avenue in Cleveland. She told police she was escaping from a man, who had put her in a freezer inside a group home on Glenmont Road.
“We were able to ascertain that the suspect was not actually inside the vehicle, but we’re still unclear if the suspect was chasing her in another vehicle,” said East Cleveland Police Cpt. Scott Gardner.
Police said the woman identified Glaze as an acquaintance and directed them to the home where he lived, the same place she says she attended a party on Sunday.
“She came over here on her own volition and essentially, she was administered some sort of narcotic, according to her. She’s not exactly certain of the events, that happened in between, but she woke up and she was in a freezer that was running,” Gardner said.
Police said the woman was not restrained, and was able to push open the lid and escape Tuesday morning.
“She seems to think that they were, that they had drugged her to the capacity that she was dead, is what she was indicating to us, and that they were essentially trying to get rid of her,” Capt. Gardner said.
“Why didn’t you just call 911, have the ambulance come and check her out? First, then they would have determined whether she took something, had something, you know what’s I’m saying, before you just say ‘Oh she’s dead,'” said neighbor Pat Phoeson.
East Cleveland police said the group home houses people with mental challenges, although it is not registered with the city.
“Whether it’s a group home, no group home, whatever it may be… We should have known,” Phoeson said.
East Cleveland police said the woman told them that, to her knowledge, she was not sexually assaulted. But detectives said they were having a rape kit done, in case she was assaulted and does not remember it.