KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (WJZY) – A disturbing case of human trafficking that was going on for years in a Kings Mountain neighborhood has left many shocked, saying they didn’t have a clue about the horrific crimes happening just down the street from them.
“I found it very disgusting that someone like that was living so close to us,” one neighbor told CBS 17 sister station WJZY.
The quiet neighborhood just down the road from the Kings Mountain Police Department is where 31-year-old Anthony Nealy lived. Those who live in the area and knew the suspect did not want to be identified.
“He didn’t stand out at all. He was just that type of person — easygoing,” he said.
Nealy was well-liked and appeared like anyone else in the area, but as neighbors recently found out, behind closed doors, he’s accused of terrorizing a child.
“We’d see them walk up and down the road to go to school and that’s about it. They’ve got toys outside and everything in the backyard. They’ve got bikes and all kinds of stuff out there but you don’t never see them come outside any day of the week,” a woman who lives nearby said.
Police say Nealy was keeping a child as a sex slave in his home.
“I couldn’t believe that was our neighbor, you know what I’m saying? He lived right next door and was doing something like that to a child,” one person said.
According to arrest warrants, the abuse began in January of 2015 and went on until September of this year. A neighbor close with the family says the abuse was investigated when the child, who is under 12 years old, told a school counselor.
“He seemed so friendly, you know what I’m saying. He helped my fiancé mow grass, he’d help him weed eat around the yard.”
The neighbor said Nealy was forced to move in with a family member nearby during the investigation.
“It’s crazy. I mean, you can trust anybody nowadays, nobody. You don’t even know who your neighbors are.”
Nealy was arrested Friday and is currently in the Cleveland County jail on a $500,000 bond.
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