Neighbors help save woman allegedly held as ‘sex slave’ when she escapes her captor

A Missouri woman held as a ‘sex slave’ wearing a homemade dog collar has escaped her captor.

“Help me,” were the words nearby resident Lisa Johnson heard on her front steps on Friday, October 7th. The young woman, 22, had just moments before escaped from the makeshift cell in her captor’s home, and was seen knocking on doors begging for help.

These scenes prompted a police investigation that would last the entire weekend, seeing an Excelsior Springs man brought into custody. Friday afternoon, Clay County prosecutors charged Timothy Haslett Jr., 39, with the assault, kidnapping, and rape of the 22-year-old and booked him into the Clay County Adult Detention Center, according to KSHB News.

“She didn’t have a voice,” said Johnson. “It was more of a light ‘help me’ than anything.”

The victim appeared weak and bruised, according to Johnson. As Johnson went inside to call the police the woman protested. “She told me if I called the cops he’d kill us both,” she said.

While Johnson was phoning the police the young woman reportedly ran next door where Ciara Tharp’s grandmother was home. At 7:45 in the morning, the escapee was banging on Tharp’s front door.

“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. “She’s like, ‘You gotta help me.'”

Tharp’s grandmother brought her inside, wrapped her in a blanket, and gave her food and water. “My grandma could tell she was weak,” Tharp said. “She didn’t have a whole lot of clothes on. She said she had a metal dog collar around her neck and could see the ligature marks around her wrists.”

Tharp said the woman had duct tape around her neck as if it had been around her mouth and she was able to pull it down. Lisa Johnson also gave a description of the woman; saying she saw ligature marks on her wrists and ankles. Johnson continued, saying the woman looked malnourished and must have weighed less than 100 pounds. Additionally, Johnson said the collar around her neck looked like a homemade shock collar as there was a black box attached to the front.

The young woman reportedly indicated that Haslett was the man who held her against her will, and she estimated she’d been in his basement since September. Details remain unclear as to how the woman managed to escape but that Friday morning presented an opening that she seized upon.

“She said once he left, she flung that door open, let his dog out and she took off,” Tharp said.

According to the Kansas City Star, authorities will now begin the long, painstaking process of examining the large amount of evidence gathered at Haslett’s home over the weekend.

“Numerous items have been recovered from the residence and the process of examining and evaluating those items will begin this week, to determine if any other crimes may have been committed,” stated Excelsior Springs Police Chief Gregory Dull. A cadaver dog was brought out to the property to examine the yard and Haslett’s truck. Police have yet to disclose any further findings.

The victim, who is from the Kansas City metropolitan area, was transported to a local hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.


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