Woman Who Said She Was Held in Box Found Dead

Suspect may have returned to kill escaped captive, son
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2015 1:41 AM CDT
Cops: After Captivity in Box, Woman Murdered
This photo provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol shows James Barton Horn Jr., 47, of Sedalia, Mo.   (Missouri State Highway Patrol via AP)

A fugitive suspect who allegedly kept a woman captive in a wooden box for months may have surfaced to murder her and her son, according to police in Missouri. James Barton Horn Jr. has been on the run since the end of April, when Sandra Sutton ran to a neighbor's house and said he had been locking her in the box whenever he wasn't home, the Kansas City Star reports. When police were called, they found the plywood box—100 inches long, 48 inches wide, and 52 inches tall, according to the AP—and discovered Horn had fled. Yesterday, Sutton and her 17-year-old son were found shot dead at the home of a family member, and police say Horn is a suspect, NBC News reports. The family member's home is in Clinton, nearly 50 miles away from Horn's home in Sedalia.

According to the Sedalia Democrat, Sutton told police that her relationship with Horn began as consensual but then led to "you can't leave." Police warn that Horn, 47, is an "extremely dangerous, violent person," and the AP reports that he has a long and disturbing criminal past. Records show that he spent three years in prison in Tennessee in the early '90s for a kidnapping and rape; at the end of 2011, he finished a 13-year sentence for kidnapping his estranged wife in Mississippi. A police spokesman in Clinton tells the Star that authorities were unaware that Sutton was living in the city and she had apparently declined to seek a protection order—though he adds that it may not have helped, because "he'd done these things and he was on the run." (Read more Missouri stories.)

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