Last week, a woman wearing a trash bag, metal collar, and duct tape around her neck knocked on a neighbor’s door and pleaded for help, claiming she had been held captive for weeks in a man’s Missouri home, according to Clay County court documents.
Police have since arrested the suspect and charged him with first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, and second-degree assault.
The frail 22-year-old woman, with ligature marks on her wrists and bruising on her body, told an Excelsior Springs neighbor that the man had held her against her will and raped her repeatedly.
The woman said she was handcuffed by her wrists and ankles and held captive in a small room in the basement of a home rented by Tim Haslett Jr., 39.
According to court documents, Haslett is accused of picking up the woman in September and bringing her back to his home, where he allegedly “whipped her while she was restrained…there were injuries on her back that were consistent with this description.”
Around 7:45 a.m. on Friday, the woman knocked on the door of Ciara Tharp’s grandmother. Tharp spoke with KSHB-TV about her grandmother’s interaction with the victim.
“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 said.
The neighbor let the victim inside her home when she heard her outside the front door crying for help. When paramedics arrived on the scene, they were able to remove the lock from the woman’s collar, which they noticed was restricting her breathing.
The victim said she found an opportunity to escape from the home when the man left to take his child to school.
“She said once he left, she flung that door open, let his dog out and she took off,” Tharp said.
The Excelsior Springs Police Department, the Clay County sheriff’s office, and the KCMO Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit roped off the area around the home to conduct an investigation over the weekend.
The victim mentioned to authorities that she believed there might be other victims. Officers brought in a cadaver dog to search the property for other potential victims but have not yet released those findings.
On Sunday, Police Chief Gregory Dull said investigators are currently trying to determine if Haslett may be responsible for other crimes.