No one had any idea.
Tracy Byers didn’t think anything of the white shed in the backyard of next-door neighbors Misty George and Michael Welch.
Byers told CNN that she lived next door to George, 30, and Welch, 38, for about five years — and that she talked to them often. They texted and were friends on Facebook, Byers said.
Marquita Ferguson, another neighbor, told Fox2 the two were “just basically nice, cool people.”
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A few did get a weird feeling about George, however.
“She was, just strange,” neighbor Christian Thursam told CNN, “but not strange to the point where you should call anybody or report her or anything.”
No matter what neighbors thought of them, no one expected the couple to trap a disabled woman in their backyard shed — and force her to perform sexual favors on strangers for money.
But that’s exactly what they did, police say.
The pair, who live in Macomb Township, Michigan with their 3-year-old daughter, allegedly forced a 29-year-old woman with mental and physical disabilities to live in their cramped shed and perform sexual acts on paying men.
George and Welch posted ads online advertising the woman, who was not allowed to shower or use the inside bathroom, police say.
Byers is shocked someone, and especially her neighbors, would do this.
“To find out that she was keeping somebody in a shed? How does somebody not know?” she said to CNN. “I don’t even understand it, especially how close we are to each other, the houses are close; somebody had to see something.”
At first, the woman was living with the couple and paying rent, police say. But she soon couldn’t afford the rent, so the couple decided to advertise her online for sexual favors.
It is unknown how the woman got away from her captors, but she managed to do so and tell her family, who then alerted police.
The couple was arrested Tuesday and charged with human trafficking and prostitution, according to CNN. George has a bond of $75,000 while Welch has a bond of $50,000.
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s heartbreaking,” Byers said. “I feel so bad for that woman and I feel so bad for their daughter, who is so little.
“I have no words for it, there are no words to express what she did to a person.”