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Missouri Woman Escapes Weeks-Long Rape, Torture After Alleged Captor Took Child To School
Timothy Haslett allegedly kept a 22-year-old woman confined to a small, makeshift room in his Missouri basement and raped her repeatedly before she was able to escape last week.
A Missouri man is in custody after a woman allegedly escaped his captivity and alerted neighbors for help.
Timothy Marrion Haslett Jr., 40, was charged Friday night with the kidnapping and rape of an unnamed woman in Excelsior Springs, Missouri — about 30 miles northeast of Kansas City — according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to initial witness reports came around 7:47 a.m. on Friday that a woman was banging on doors and screaming for help.
Neighbors told news outlets, including NBC Kansas City affiliate KSHB, that the woman — who attempted to get help from multiple homes — appeared malnourished and had a metal collar wrapped tightly around her neck. One neighbor said she attempted to call 911, but the woman became “frightened,” claiming Haslett would kill them both if she notified the police.
The victim then fled to another neighbor’s house.
Ciara Tharp, whose grandmother invited the victim into her home until authorities arrived, told KSHB about the shocking incident.
“She heard a woman screaming and came knocking on the door, so she opened the door, and the lady said, ‘You have to help me; I’ve been raped, I’ve been held captive,’” Tharp stated.
Witnesses said the woman appeared to have ligature marks around her wrists and ankles and duct tape around her neck. Court records obtained by ABC Kansas City affiliate KMBC state that, when Excelsior Springs Police arrived, the victim had on latex attire and a padlock fastened the collar to her neck. EMS workers had to remove the lock because it restricted her breathing, according to KMBC.
Court documents say the woman, who is 22 years old, claimed “a man named Timothy” picked her up on Prospect Avenue in Kansas City in early September. The suspect — identified as Haslett — allegedly brought the woman to his home and locked her in a small, makeshift room in the basement, where he allegedly whipped her and “frequently” raped her in the following weeks.
Marks on the woman’s back were consistent with being whipped, according to court records. Per CBS Kansas City affiliate KCTV, the woman reported she did not know the suspect.
The woman said she escaped the house when her captor took his child to school that morning.
On her way to the hospital, the victim pointed out Haslett’s home.
At around 4:00 p.m. on Friday, authorities issued a search warrant for the suspect’s home, enlisting the help of the Kansas City Police Department’s CSI Unit to process the scene.
The search drew the attention of many in the area, prompting the Clay County Sheriff’s Office to dispel rumors of dead bodies being found at the property.
“There are rumors on social media that there are additional deceased victims,” officials stated. “There is NO EVIDENCE of that at this time."
Haslett was pulled over during a traffic stop later in the day and arrested on an unrelated animal control violation, according to KMBC. County officials later charged him with first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault.
Celia Tharp told KCTV the victim claimed to have friends who “didn’t make it,” alluding to other possible victims.
“She made a comment that ‘He killed my friends,’” said Tharp. “She just kept repeating it.”
This is something police continue to look into, Excelsior Springs Police Lt. Ryan Dowdy told the CBS affiliate.
“We have no further victims that we are aware of at this specific moment in time. We are still processing the warrant and that all is subject to change,” Dowdy stated. “She made mention of other victims, but there’s no sign of them at this time that we have found.”
A cadaver dog was brought to Haslett’s home, though the findings resulting from the three-day search have yet to be disclosed, according to the Kansas City Star.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office posted a lengthy statement Tuesday afternoon, asking the community for their continued patience.
“It will take time to analyze evidence recovered during the execution of the search warrant. It will take time to interview people involved. It will take time to use that information to see if the suspect in this case is connected to any more crimes,” stated officials. “And when those things have happened, there will still be very little law enforcement can share until the case goes to court. Because if you want justice for victims and for people who have broken the law, that’s what has to happen."
They added there was “no danger to the public” and asked citizens to keep “the rumor mill to a minimum.”
Court records reviewed by Oxygen.com show that Haslett was held on $500,000 bond on Tuesday and entered a plea of not guilty. He is set to appear before a judge on Oct. 18 for a bond reduction hearing and again on Dec. 2 for a preliminary hearing.
The victim was treated at a nearby hospital, where she was reunited with her relatives, according to CBS Pittsburg, Kansas affiliate KOAM-TV. She was reported to be in stable condition.