A Florida couple allegedly held a pregnant woman and her young daughter hostage for close to two weeks, sexually assaulting the expectant mother and threatening to kill her with a hammer if she tried escaping, PEOPLE confirms.
Manuel Escobar, 32, and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Tahlia Ortiz, were arrested on Tuesday and as of Friday, remained in police custody without bail.
According to detectives, the woman, who is 18 weeks pregnant, and Escobar had an argument during a phone conversation on July 5. He allegedly appeared at her home the next morning and attacked her, leaving her with two black eyes and a bloody nose.
The release alleges Escobar smashed the woman’s cellphone and choked her. He then allegedly called Ortiz for advice. Not knowing what to do, he allegedly asked “if he should just kill her,” investigators allege in court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Escobar allegedly ordered the woman and her daughter into his truck, and drove them to his home. There, investigators alleged he continually beat her and sexually assaulted her between three or four times, in front of her daughter. Ortiz allegedly participated in the sexual assaults.
Police further allege Escobar told the woman he would murder her family if she tried to escape, and that he would beat her to death with a hammer.
He also allegedly forced the woman to sleep in a bed with him and his girlfriend so he could “keep an eye on her,” according to the court documents.
When Escobar went to work on July 17, the woman and her daughter managed to slip out of the house. The woman drove to a family member’s home, dropped of her child, and then went to the sheriff’s office to file a complaint.
It was unclear if either defendant had retained an attorney who could speak on their behalf.
Escobar is charged with kidnapping, aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, battery by strangulation, sexual assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and obstructing justice. Ortiz is being held on kidnapping and sexual assault charges.
Neither has responded to the allegations in court.