Recently, an Ohio woman said she was forced out of her home and her daughter was abducted, all in a dispute over housing.
A Fairfield Township man is accused of abducting an 11-year-old girl while trying to get the girl and her mother evicted. The man, Joseph Ebbing, said he asked the 11-year-old girl to leave his wife’s rental property because she was trespassing.
Tracy Stewart is the 11-year-old’s mother. Stewart had been living in rental property on Princeton Road that was owned by Joseph Ebbing’s wife.
The Ebbings live next door to the Stewarts.
Stewart’s lease was ending at midnight, Jan. 31, and Stewart said she needed a little more time because of health issues.
Stewart said Ebbing began harassing her leading up to the end of the month and she made several 911 calls.
“He’s threatening that if I don’t get all the way moved out, he’s going to physically come in my house tonight and remove me,” she said in one of the calls she made to 911 on Jan. 31. At 1 a.m. on Feb. 1, Stewart made another call. “He’s coming in my house with a key right now,” Stewart told a dispatcher.
Fairfield Township Police arrested Ebbing and charged him with criminal trespassing. Police said he didn’t go through the proper eviction process.
Officers said Ebbing returned to the house later that day after he was released from jail. Stewart’s 11-year-old daughter was home alone.
Police said Ebbing took the girl’s key, got her out of the house, changed the locks and had his family bring her to his house.
“To do that to her was not okay,” Stewart said.
Ebbing is charged with abduction, burglary and obstructing official business.
“What you did to me was unacceptable and then you crossed the line, you went and took my child. You didn’t just take a piece of furniture or lock the door or change the locks, you violated my daughter and our privacy,” Stewart said.
During Wednesday’s preliminary hearing in a county court, the judge heard from Stewart, her daughter and Ebbing.
The 11-year-old said she was at Ebbing’s home for about 15 minutes. When asked if she was scared, she answered, “Not really. I did want to know where my mom was.”
Ebbing told the judge, “I never forced her. I never threatened her.”
Ebbing stands by what he told WLWT News 5’s Karin Johnson. “She (the mother) came to the house and asked me if I abducted somebody and I said, ‘No,’” Ebbing said.