NEW YORK (CBS) Chinese police have freed two teenage girls who were found nude and shackled in an underground dungeon for almost a year, according to BBC News.
The 16- and 19-year-old victims were rescued after a TV repairman found a distress note that the girls managed to stuff inside a broken television set, according to the report.
"Help! I have been confined underground for more than a year," the note read according to CNN.
The note also apparently had a sketch of their location and the contact information of the 19-year-old's father, reports the BBC.
Investigators discovered the pair chained in a secret cellar more than eight feet underground beneath a two-story house in the Hubei province, according to the Beijing News.
The home's owner, 39-year-old Zeng Xiangbao, is a divorcee living with his 70-year-old mother and was arrested a week prior to the rescue for unrelated rape charges, reports the British news station.
The 19-year-old girl was reported missing in July 2009 and lived less then a mile away from the underground dungeon.
The girls placed several distress notes in garbage and household items on previous occasions in an attempt to summon help, according to CNN.
It is unclear if the victims were sexually abused.