Houston police say several people, possibly eight, some of them elderly, have been found in a home where they were being held captive in "deplorable" conditions.


Houston home where several people were being held captive (KTRK TV)

CNN reports four men and four women, were held in a "Prison Room" for varying periods of time ranging from several months to possibly at least 10 years.

Police Sgt. Steven Murdock says a neighbor called authorities Friday morning expressing concern about men in the house in North Houston. Police were called and broke down a front door that was nailed shut. KTRK TV reports police found four men age 79, 54, 74 and about 65 and four women who may be suffering from mental illness in a room full of garbage.

Murdock says the men were homeless and may have been held so that a captor could cash checks the men were receiving. At least one of the men is a military veteran. It's unclear whether the men were targeted for their Social Security payments or some other kind.

"One of them seemed to think he was picked up off the street and brought here," said HPD Sgt. JW McCoy told KTRK.  "In exchange for beer and cigarettess and a place to stay, he had to turn over his Social Security check."

He says the men were malnourished and "almost invalids." Three were taken to a hospital for treatment.

One person is in custody.

The Associated Press contributed to this story