A 21-year-old man who police say was abducted and sexually assaulted at the home of a paper-mill worker credits his family's love with helping him survive the ordeal.
"I'm just thankful to be alive and glad to be back home with my family and friends," the man told the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.
Edward Lanphear, 46, was charged with 12 felonies in the abduction, beating and sexual assault of two young men who police say were chained naked inside his home. He is jailed in lieu of $1 million bond.
The 21-year-old was able to escape from Lanphear's garage in rural Wisconsin Rapids last Tuesday and ran to a nearby home to seek help. Lanphear realized police were on the scene and brought the 23-year-old man from the basement, investigators said.
"I'm glad it turned out the way it did," the younger man told the paper. "I'm glad I helped out (the 23-year-old's) family. I wish there was more that I could do."
The 21-year-old said his thoughts were close to his family during his captivity.
"Everything that I've gone through — the turmoil I went through the last couple of days — they were closest to me and helped get me through all of it," he told the newspaper late last week.
His mother said she was proud of her son.
"I'm glad he felt so loved from his family he had something to fight for," she said. "We're so proud of his courage and strength and ability to stay focused and do what had to be done."
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who allege they have been sexually assaulted; naming his mother could reveal the victim's identity.
'It's made me stronger'
The man told the Daily Tribune he is doing well and is grateful for the support he has received from the community.
"I know this will scar me for the rest of my life, but it's not going to change who I am," he said. "It's made me stronger."
According to a criminal complaint, Lanphear picked up the 23-year-old, weary from a night of drinking, as the Wisconsin Rapids man sat at a curb July 4. Lanphear then hit the man over the head and abducted him. He kidnapped the 21-year-old early Tuesday morning after the man got drunk at a local bar and passed out in his truck, the complaint said.
Court records show the Wood County sheriff's department confiscated more than 20 guns, chains, prescription medications, a computer and pornography from Lanphear's home.
The search-warrant records show chains, cables and padlocks were taken from iron pipes around a mattress on the home's basement floor that was described as the "captive bed." A nylon rope fashioned into a noose was also recovered.
The records said investigators also found a highlighted copy of the July 7 Daily Tribune that contained information about the search for the missing man who was found alive at Lanphear's home.