Elderly Marine Veteran Held Captive 4 Years Inside Motel, Finally Freed

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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A U.S. Marine veteran is finally out of captivity after being kidnapped and held in a motel room for at least four years.

Police arrived at the scene in Highlands, New York with guns drawn and discovered 86-year-old David McClellan living in a dilapidated room with disheveled furniture and upended pottery, according to an ABC news affiliate. Thirty-five-year-old Perry Coniglio, who lived in the room adjacent to McClellan’s, imprisoned McClellan and incessantly abused the elderly man to keep him subdued.

Oddly enough, neighbors noticed the horrid activity for quite some time. “The guy who was arrested who lived next door, he was giving him just one bowl of cereal a day, he would stick him back in the room with a stick, wasn’t bathing him, the old guy would just be walking around here naked, just terrible,” a neighbor told ABC news.

Coniglio was allegedly sequestering McClellan to steal monetary benefits. “We believe he is the recipient of a tremendous amount of money on a monthly basis,” said Chief Jack Quinn of the Highland Police Department. Coniglio, who had illicit drugs and paraphernalia is his room, most likely knew that McClellan was an easy target. The veteran has a severe case of dementia, no known friends or family, and plenty of money.

When asked how long he believes he had been at the motel for, McClellan told authorities four days, rather than the far more accurate four years. McClellan was sent to a hospital after being rescued and will be provided with a new home.

His captor is being charged with unlawful imprisonment, grand larceny, endangering an incompetent person, criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana.

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