Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Man Held 5 People Captive, Police Say

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A Clearwater man with a history of mental illness was arrested last week and charged with holding five people captive, including three who are mentally disabled, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Police say Jeffrey Keowin kept the victims imprisoned while moving them between Indiana and Florida. Several were sexually abused and forced by Keowin into prostitution, according to officials. Others were also physically abused and denied sufficient access to food or medical treatment, detectives say. 

The captives, who range in age from 17 to 51, escaped to a neighbor's house and called police on Jan. 13. Keowin is charged with false imprisonment, sexual battery and human trafficking. 

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.