WILMINGTON, Ohio -- “You’re mine now."
That's what a Blanchester woman said her kidnapper told her before shoving her in a pit under his shed last week.
Jennifer Elliott, 30, testified at a preliminary hearing in court Thursday, claiming she was held captive by her 45-year-old neighbor, Dennis Dunn.
“When he closed the shed door, he said, ‘I love you,’” Elliott said. "I remember banging on the dirt and screaming.”
A Clinton County judge ruled the kidnapping case against Dunn will go before a grand jury and ordered his bond remain at $1 million and that Dunn have no contact with Elliott.
Dunn’s lawyer argued his client was mentally incompetent to stand trial, but that will be determined at a later date.
Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said officers pulled Elliott from the dirt pit inside the shed at 113 Central Ave. at about 4 a.m. April 26. The pit was about 3-and-a-half feet deep and 2 feet in diameter and covered with wood and heavy objects.
Elliott was unable to speak when she was found, he said, and appeared to be suffering from a seizure.
Officers arrested Dunn later that day, charging him with kidnapping.
Elliott told the prosecutor she thought she was going to die in that hole.
“He would make threats and call me a ‘piece of s**t,'" Elliott said.
Elliott’s mother, Gayle Rowe, reported her disappearance around 1:30 a.m. April 26 before hearing noises coming from the shed and calling police . That call led to Elliott's rescue.