TODAY   |  July 20, 2013

Up to 8 people appear to be held in Texas

Police say four men, who may have been homeless, were possibly held captive in a garage. "There were locks on the doors, it was a situation where they could not leave on their own free will,” said Jodi Silva, a public information officer. NBCs Charles Hadlock reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> a shocking story is developing in houston, texas now. police are investigating a case where a number of people who appeared to be mentally challenged were held hostage inside a house. charles has that story.

>> reporter: a bizarre scene in a houston neighborhood.

>> i have never seen nothing like this in my life.

>> reporter: police say four men who may have been homeless were found friday, held captive in a garage.

>> there were locks on the doors. it was a situation they could not leave on their own free will .

>> reporter: the living conditions were substandard.

>> they were given scraps to eat. little food provided to them. no access to a restroom.

>> reporter: it's unclear how long they have been held against their will.

>> it's to be determined.

>> reporter: the men were lured to the house with the offer of food and cigarettes.

>> the suspect has been detained. they claim was cashing their checks, their veteran's checks.

>> reporter: alberta was visiting her brother nearby.

>> they look like people that were hungry that need to be cared for. needed medical. it just really hurt me to see something like that.

>> reporter: police say at least four women were living in the main house and they, too, are being questioned.