Tuesday 21 November 2017

Woman murdered after boyfriend locked her in crate for four months

Sandra Sutton Credit: Sedalia Police Department
Sandra Sutton Credit: Sedalia Police Department
Police said they found a "bucket of feces" in the box Credit: Sedalia Police Department

David Kearns

US police have released photos of a tiny wooden box where a woman was held captive in for four months by her boyfriend before he killed her.

The homemade box was just four feet by five feet wide and a little over eight feet long, with a single hole poked in it to allow 47-year-old Sandra Sutton to breathe, police said.

Ms Sutton was held in the box for four months Credit: Sedalia Police Department
Ms Sutton was held in the box for four months Credit: Sedalia Police Department

Convicted sex offender James Horn is alleged to have murdered Ms Sutton and her son, Zachary Sutton (17), weeks after she escarped from the wooden box inside Horn's home.

The couple lived in the city of Sedalia in the state of Missouri, and Mr Horn forced the 47-year-old into the box in January after she decided to leave him.

It had a sleeping bag, some reading materials and a bucket full of urine and feces, according to the first photos released by the Sedalia Police Department on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the Sedalia Police Department reported that they had been contacted by a woman who claimed to have escaped from her boyfriend’s home.

Ms Sutton told police that her boyfriend held her hostage in the box and would let her out so they could have sex.

Police arrived at the home but where unable to locate Mr Horn, who was released from prison in 2011 despite objections from federal authorities who deemed him too “sexually dangerous” to be freed.

The photos show a sleeping bag, trash bucket and some reading materials cramped into the tiny box Credit: Sedalia Police Department
The photos show a sleeping bag, trash bucket and some reading materials cramped into the tiny box Credit: Sedalia Police Department

Having fled Mr Horn’s home, it is believed she refused protective custody and instead left the area to go live with her 17-year-old son.

On May 21, Mr Horn allegedly tracked down Sutton and her son in the city of Clinton and shot them dead inside a home where they were staying with relatives.

After a massive manhunt, police shot and killed the armed sex offender two days later in a vacant home following three weeks on the run.

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