Woman found trapped in pit behind neighbor’s home in Ohio

BLANCHESTER, Ohio — Police found a woman trapped in a pit behind her neighbor’s home in the Cincinnati area overnight.

After a resident reported hearing someone crying early Wednesday morning, officers rescued 30-year-old Jennifer Elliott from a hole in the ground hidden inside a shed, according to WCPO.  A wooden board was covering the pit behind 113 Central Ave., and heavy objects were placed on the board to hold it down, police said.

Elliott, who appeared to be suffering a seizure and wasn’t able to talk when officers found her, was taken to a local hospital for treatment, officials said.  Police estimate that Elliott had been trapped for two to three hours.

Officers arrested the man living at the home, 45-year-old Dennis Dunn, who has mental health issues and was taken to the hospital, police said.

He faces previous charges of disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana.

Clinton County Sheriff’s Office records show Elliott reported in the past that Dunn had harassed her in phone calls and texts messages, but she never pressed charges, according to the station.

Dunn’s address was well-known to law enforcement – on four different occasions in the past he called police to report someone trying to break into his home, Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said in early April. Each time, responding officers found no one at the residence.

After another incident in which Dunn was found waving a pistol in his front yard, Reinbolt called the Ohio mental health system “broken” and expressed frustration with elected officials who “facilitated the closing of many mental health hospitals,” according to the Wilmington News Journal.

“I was heartbroken when Dunn’s elderly father showed up at the scene this morning to apologize to us for having to deal with this son,” Reinbolt said in a press release Wednesday.  “I am angry at a state government that places dangerous, mentally ill people into our neighborhoods. I am aghast at the threat this situation poses to all of the Jennifer Elliotts of the world.”