Man arrested, charged with holding woman captive in closet for months

Posted at 12:24 PM, March 14, 2023 and last updated 7:26 PM, July 5, 2023


DYERSBURG, Tenn. (Court TV) — Police said Thursday that they arrested a man who was accused of holding a woman captive inside a closet for several weeks.

A man working in Dyersburg called the police after he was approached by a woman who said she’d been kidnapped weeks earlier, police said in a news release.

Brenton Bell booking photo

Brenton Bell was arrested on March 15, 2023. (Dyersburg Police Department)

The alleged victim was found hiding under a new construction home when officers arrived. The victim, identified only as a 40-year-old woman, had cuts on her face and weighed less than 100 pounds. The victim told police that for approximately two months she had been forced to stay in a locked closet.

Police said the victim described the closet as being locked by a device with a cable, and that she was only allowed out of the closet for an hour a day. She was given limited food and no access to a bathroom, police said.

Officers located the house and said they found evidence inside, including human waste, consistent with the victim’s description.

Dyersburg police said in a news release that the victim identified Brenton Bell, 30, as the suspect. The victim said she had been in a relationship with the suspect that turned abusive and led to her being held captive.

Bell was arrested on March 15 without incident, Dyersburg police said.

The victim was treated and released from a hospital.