8 Women, Ages 19 to 22, Found in $1M Atlanta Mansion After a 911 Call for Help: 'I'm Scared to Leave'
A Georgia man is accused of human trafficking and false imprisonment after police say they found eight women living with him in an upscale home in north Atlanta — with one of the women claiming she was threatened and held against her will.
That woman — who said she’d traveled from Orlando, Florida, and turned 20 in November — called 911 on Tuesday morning from inside the home, leading to the man’s arrest, according to authorities.
“I’m in a very bad situation and I need to get out,” the woman said in audio of the call, which was obtained by PEOPLE.
Police say 33-year-old Kenndric Roberts was taken into custody later Tuesday, after they investigated at his luxury home in Sandy Springs, Georgia. The home is worth nearly $1 million and is more than 6,800 square feet, according to county property records.
Roberts remains behind bars at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, without bond, on charges of trafficking a person for labor and false imprisonment, according to jail records.
Officials say he waived his initial court appearance on Thursday morning. He has not entered a plea to his charges and it was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.
A message left with him at the county jail was not returned.
Investigators believe “there are potentially other victims,” according to Sandy Springs police Sgt. Sam Worsham, but he stressed that only one woman has made a complaint.
It’s unclear how long the women were living in the home, though the woman who called 911 said she’d been there for “about a month.”
Worsham says the eight women found at the home ranged in age from 19 to 22 and that they came from several different places, including the local area.
He says all eight were U.S. citizens, but he declined to say how the women came to be at the home or the nature of the alleged trafficking, citing the ongoing investigation.
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The women were all in “good health” when they were found and no medical assistance was needed, Worsham says.
In her 911 call, one of the women said the others danced for money and that — with the exception of the alleged threats she received about leaving — nothing illegal was going on in the home. She said she was the only woman who wanted out.
“He hasn’t threatened them, he mostly just threatened me,” the woman claimed, referring to Roberts, whom she called her “boss.”
“He is so smart,” she told 911. “He knows exactly what he’s doing.”
For example, she alleged, “He will tell you, ‘You can leave whenever you want,’ and then he’ll threaten you right after.”
Worsham says one weapon was recovered at the scene. Roberts was renting the home and did not own it, he says.
A spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta tells PEOPLE the bureau is also investigating and that FBI agents were with police at the home.
The spokesman declined to provide a timeline for a possible federal case, but he said federal charges are likely.
‘If I Try to Leave, He’ll Kill Me’
Sandy Springs police responded to Roberts’ home “just before” 8 a.m. Tuesday, after one of the women inside called 911 to report her alleged captivity.
In audio of the call, the woman spoke softly — her voice sometimes trembling — as she explained what allegedly happened to her. She said she made the call while the other women were asleep, from the upstairs of the home while Roberts was downstairs.
“It’s a house full of girls and a guy,” she told the 911 operator, “like if I try to leave, he’ll kill me.”
She said she was desperate to leave that day, planning to run out of the home and call an Uber in order to make a 12 p.m. flight her friends had purchased for her.
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The woman said she came to Roberts’ home after meeting him on SeekingArrangement.com, which advertises as a dating site for “sugar daddies” — “where beautiful, successful people fuel mutually beneficial relationships.”
The woman told 911, “When I came here, it was like a good situation where you come and you work … and the girls make money from dancing.”
She said she “just got here,” approximately a month ago.
“He had me go get plastic surgery,” she said. “And he was like — he’s so mean, I just can’t stay.”
The woman told 911 the other women did not want to leave the home. “I’m the only one who wants to leave, everyone else wants to be here,” she said. “So everyone else is fine. … Like he’ll threaten them with other stuff, but because I had to have surgery to be here or something, he threatened me the most.”
She said there were cameras and weapons in the house.
“Nothing he does is illegal,” the woman told 911 — except his alleged threats, which he issued “many times.”
“I’m scared to leave,” she said.
Suspect’s Luxurious Life Captured on Instagram?
Robyn Feinberg tells PEOPLE that the neighborhood where Roberts lived is usually very quiet. Feinberg’s husband, Mark, is president of the neighborhood’s homeowner’s association.
She says the owners of Roberts’ rental home are “aghast” by the allegations — and that Roberts was not even the person to whom they agreed to rent.
Roberts moved into the neighborhood within the last few months, Feinberg says.
An Instagram account named Live Star Nation, with more than 15,000 followers, is apparently run by Roberts. It includes many videos of cash and high-end cars, food and watches; and multiple posts mention female models.
A Feb. 15 video on the page shows seven women gathered around a table with the caption “Need I Say More.” In a pair of videos posted in November, two women pose and lip-sync for the camera.
In a third video, posted in November, the camera surveys piles of $100 bills.
A neighbor confirms that a home pictured in at least one of the account’s videos is Roberts’ residence in Sandy Springs. A photo posted in November appears to include the suspect and references “Kenn,” possibly short for Kenndric, the suspect’s first name.
Other videos feature a man who looks like Roberts addressing the camera or showing off his clothing and jewelry.
Two videos posted to the account show multiple women with the same tattoo on their wrists. The posts also include the phrase “LOP”: loyalty over pride.
The account is promotional, often boastful and sometimes tries to be inspirational. One post’s caption reads, in part, “It’s necessary to see you[r] flaws, we can all learn something from anyone.”
A phone number on the account’s about section connects to a series of automated prompts and voicemails; and a message sent to its email was not returned.
A YouTube account with the same name and advertised P.O. Box as the Live Star Nation Instagram has posted only musical performances. Its last video was in 2013.
A Twitter account with that name, the same phone number as the YouTube account and featuring the same recurring motto as on the Instagram account has not been active since December. Its messages were re-posted from other platforms. It described Live Star Nation as an “entertainment company.”
None of the websites linked from these accounts are functioning.
Sandy Springs police have not seen a case like this before, Sgt. Worsham says, but “it is a hot topic right now.”
Atlanta, which is home to the world’s busiest airport, is also a hub for human trafficking, according to experts.
“It is going on nationwide,” Worsham says. “This case just shows it could occur anywhere.”