Lee Kaplan was a guy who didn't wear his shirt often to answer his front door and whose house "stunk ... like cat piss," according to a FedEx delivery man who dropped off packages to the Feasterville home.
"He doesn't talk much. I tried joking with him, but he'd just stare at you with a blank face," said Brendan Cragg, who's been delivering packages in the neighborhood for the last 10 years. "He'd come to the door with no shirt on, that big beard. I knew he was crazy. It kind of stunk in there, I thought, like cat piss. I thought he was a hoarder."
Kaplan is charged with several counts of sexual assault and child endangerment after police found 12 young girls Thursday in his small colonial on a quiet side street in the Feasterville section of Lower Southampton.
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The oldest of the girls, now 18, is believed to have been in Kaplan's house for the last three years, and fathered two of the other 11 children inside the house. She, and possibly the other children, are believed to have been given to Kaplan from an exiled Amish couple from Lancaster County, according to the Bucks County district attorney. Kaplan and the couple are being held on $1 million bail.
"I thought about him all weekend," Cragg said. "I wish looking back I would have said something. But you don't really know what's going on (inside the house). I never saw anyone else in there."
A tip from a neighbor eventually led police to search Kaplan's house, where they found the girls -- and a massive, elaborate miniature train collection in the basement.
That train collection was apparently part of an EBay business Kaplan ran out of his home. A business called "The Brass Caboose" that buys and sells miniature trains has the same address as Kaplan's house on Old Street Road in Feasterville.
Cragg said he tried a few times to exchange niceties with Kaplan during deliveries, but the man didn't seem interested and that was fine with the FedEx deliveryman.
"I didn't really want to stick around. He was scary looking. He was about six foot three, 280 pounds. He reminded me of Luke Harper, the (WWE) wrestler," Cragg said. "I'd try joking with him, like say, 'What do you have in there today.' He had a big package recently, like 50-60 pounds. But he just stared with a blank face."