BRANDON, Fla. — A Brandon man held a minor captive inside his home for 52 days, according to court documents. The Navy veteran, 39-year-old Thomas Hill, faces four felonies for allegedly driving across state lines to take the minor.
Court documents show he watched child porn, made the underage victim do chores and forced himself on them.
In an interview, Hill admitted to knowing the victim’s age and traveling to Georgia, but he told deputies he did it to “rescue” the minor. He claimed the victim was “living” with him.
Before taking the 300 plus mile trip to get the minor, Hillsborough County deputies say Hill spoke with them through social media.
Neighbor Manny Quinones says he saw Hill get arrested. His home on Big Cedar Way was surrounded by deputy cars, according to Quinones.
Details ABC Action News uncovered from a search warrant make Quinones cringe.
“That is sick. That is sick, okay," he said.
The minor told investigators Hill held them against their will and forced himself on them. The minor also said they were forced to do chores like washing dishes and clothes.
“It’s blowing my mind because, like I said, I see him come in and out on a daily basis and I’ve never seen any child come out of there," he said.
Authorities say Hill kept the minor for nearly two months while they were reported missing back home.
“It’s dumbfounding because this guy is so quiet. You hardly see him come out of his home," said Quinones.
ABC Action News knocked on his door but no one answered. We did find a seemingly old Facebook account showing him in his Navy uniform. He was enlisted for six years, according to the Navy.
Deputies seized potential evidence from Hill's duplex like his computer and a pink bondage kit.
“I’m a little unsettled now because, I mean, I’ve never heard this from him. But to hear this? No.” said Quinones.
ABC Action News also found out Hill worked at Hillsborough Community College as a lab tech. HCC tells us he didn't work with any minors and was fired February 12 for not showing up for work.
Hill was released on bond the week of February 18. According to the Associated Press, local charges against Hill were dropped Friday, June 7. He was arrested again on federal charges of enticement of a minor and production of child pornography.
ABC Action News reached out to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office but the agency said it could not comment on an active investigation.