New York City

Man, Woman Indicted in Case of Kidnapped Victim Tortured in NYC Bodega Basement for Days

A criminal complaint revealed stomach-churning details about what happened in that basement over the course of three days

What to Know

  • Police officers were searching for two individuals in a deli in the Bronx last month when they found a man tied up in the store's basement
  • The kidnapping victim, who wasn't identified, said he was held for three days and beaten in the head and torso
  • A man and a woman have been indicted on multiple charges, prosecutors said Thursday; authorities are still looking for two other people

A man and a woman have been indicted on kidnapping and other charges in the case of a victim who was abducted and tied up in the basement of a Bronx bodega, where he was beaten and terrified over a three-day ordeal.

Orinthia Gifford, 49, and Richard Millwood, 35, who both live at the same Bronx address, have been arraigned on multiple counts of kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, assault, robbery and other charges in the days-long attack on the 49-year-old man, who was discovered by cops chasing suspects on Sept. 10.

The man had told authorities, who were chasing two people in an unrelated case and were granted access to the deli basement on Bussing Avenue, that he had been held against his will since Sept. 7, when he said four people grabbed him.  

Gifford, who owns the deli, was arrested shortly thereafter. Authorities say she had a key on her that unlocked a trapdoor leading to the basement. The other two people allegedly behind the abduction remain on the loose, officials said.

The victim knew his attackers, prosecutors said, but details on their relationship wasn't clear. Information on attorneys for Gifford and Millwood wasn't immediately available. 

A criminal complaint revealed gruesome details about what happened in that basement over the course of three days.

The victim, who was not identified, told police that two men who were keeping him in the basement used a variety of weapons to intimidate and injure him. He described a kitchen knife one of the men would use to slap against his left cheek, and a machete that the other man would carry around.

One of the suspects pounded the barrel of a long rifle into the victim's chest, then used the gun to beat his arms and legs, the complaint against Gifford read. The same man had a handgun that he shoved into the victim's mouth, telling him "This is a nine millimeter. I can blow your head off right now." He also threatened to rape and kill his family, stating that he had killed people before in Jamaica, according to the criminal complaint.

One of the men suggested they burn the victim, while handing over a lighter which was then lit and held up to the victim's face, nose and ear. The other man forced the victim to lick the bottom of his shoe before kicking him in the face and forcing him to eat paper, the complaint states.

The kidnapping victim refused medical attention from EMS after he was rescued, police said.

"The defendants allegedly took part in a series of atrocious acts," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement Thursday. "They kept a man in a basement against his will in handcuffs for days and inflicted injuries on him, at times with a knife and a heavy object. Luckily the victim was found by NYPD Police Officers who were on patrol in the area."

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