A Houston rapper allegedly kidnapped a homeless woman and held her captive in his garage for at least four years before she managed to get access to the suspect’s computer to call rescuers, officials said.
The woman allegedly held by Lee Carter, 52, was found in April but the arrest on a charge of felony aggravated kidnapping only happened on Thursday, court records and Carter’s attorney said.
Records do not explain why it took authorities nearly nine months to arrest the suspect. The condition of the woman, who prosecutors say was 70 pounds and pregnant when authorities located her, was unclear Monday.
Court filings showed Carter posted $100,000 to secure his freedom on Sunday. He was no longer in the Harris County Jail on Monday, a sheriff’s official told NBC News.
A Harris County District Attorney’s Office affidavit supporting the suspect’s arrest states the woman used Carter’s laptop to “communicate with 9-1-1 dispatch that she was being held against her will.” Details about how she got the laptop were not released.
A Houston Fire Department crew came to Carter’s Perry Street home on April 7 and pried open the garage’s door to a find woman locked inside, living in putrid conditions, prosecutors said.
That room included “a makeshift toilet that did not flush,” a mattress “covered in fresh vomit” and a few packages of chips and Twinkies, the affidavit said.
The garage “appeared to be a single car garage but no longer had the garage door to allow a vehicle to enter” and both of its windows had been boarded up, the affidavit said.
The 5-foot-2, 70-pound woman was found malnourished “with a pungent stench,” “crusty” hair and wearing a T-shirt and shorts that “were filthy dirty,” according to prosecutors.
Court records do not indicate how old the woman is.
She told authorities that “approximately four or five years ago,” she was panhandling in Houston when Carter allegedly picked her up, saying “he would help her,” the complaint said.
The woman was pregnant when Carter picked her up, according to the complaint.
Citing privacy laws and the ongoing probe, a Harris County DA spokesperson declined to say whether the woman had the baby.
Defense attorney George Powell said the woman is actually Carter’s domestic partner.
“It’s a romantic relationship,” Powell told NBC News on Monday. “The complaining witness and him have been together for years and they have a child together.”
When asked about the filthy conditions of the garage where authorities allegedly found the victim, Powell said he had only recently been brought on the case and has not yet seen the space where prosecutors say the woman was held.
Prosecutors had asked for a $500,000 bond before a magistrate set it at $100,000, according to the DA’s office, which declined to comment on the court’s ruling.
Carter is the owner of Rhyme Time Records, NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported, citing records. The company is based out of the same home he is accused of holding the woman against her will, the news station reported.
Carter’s attorney said he did not know his client’s stage name or have any information about his music career.