A woman claims that her boyfriend is a ‘good man’ who never abused her even though she was found behind a padlocked door in an apartment in New Jersey. The woman, Nancy Rodriguez Doran, claims that the kidnapping charge against Michael Mendez is a lie and that she requested that she be padlocked in the room.
Duran spoke with reporters before Mendez was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. She told reporters that Mendez was stepping out on Thursday and she worried that maintenance workers entering their apartment in Paterson would see her in her nightgown. The apartment was searched by a gang unit from the New Jersey state police that same day looking for drugs. The unit found the woman locked in a bedroom.
Authorities believe that Duran was locked in the room for lengthy periods of time for at least the previous two years and maybe as long as 10 years, according to acting Sgt. 1st Class Brian Polite, a spokesman for the state police. Mendez, according to police, belongs to the Latin Kings street gang. He was charged with false imprisonment, kidnapping and other counts.
Mendez pled not guilty on Tuesday and is still in jail on $1 million bail. Police claim that Mendez allowed Duran out of the room when he was home sometimes. Neighbors who lived in the building said that they rarely saw Duran.
Mendez was also charged with drug counts because police discovered 4,200 prescription pills that were valued at $100,000. They also found 190 grams of marijuana that was valued at $2,000. Just around $23,000 in cash was found in the apartment too.