Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sedalia Police Department releases photos of captivity box

The Sedalia Police Department has released photos of the box Sandra Sutton was kept in by James B. Horn Jr. at his residence in the 800 block of East 15th Street in Sedalia. The photos show the homemade plywood box contained a sleeping bag and reading materials, and was covered in blankets as makeshift insulation, as described by Sutton in court documents.

Sutton, 46, was held captive by 47-year-old Horn in his residence since January and she escaped captivity April 30.

According to court documents, once officers arrived on scene after her escape, the victim stated she “escaped from being held against her will from” a residence in the 800 block of East 15th Street. “(The victim) further explained to the initial reporting officer that she knew the captor and their initial relationship had been intimately consensual.

“(The victim) explained that James B. Horn since January would put her in a wooden box to be held ‘hostage’ when he was not at the residence. (The victim) explained that during the time when Horn was home he would allow her to be out of the box but to return to the box upon his demand.”

Sutton was allowed to leave the box while Horn was home in the evenings, and he would have sex with her. She said she complied out of fear.

During her initial interview with officers, she described the box as made of plywood and lumber with “sound proofing on the outside,” and various items were kept inside, including sleeping bags, reading materials and flashlights. After officers obtained a search warrant, they found a wooden box matching her description.

According to the documents, the box was 100 inches long, 48 inches wide and 52 inches tall, and had one small hole to allow air to enter. The items found inside the wooden box also matched Sutton’s statement.

Sutton and her 17-year-old son, Zachary Wade Sutton, were found dead of gunshot wounds at a relative’s house in the 700 block of East Franklin Street in Clinton in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 21. A statewide manhunt for Horn ensued, including a standoff later that day at his residence in Sedalia, which ended without his capture.

At about 11:15 a.m. Saturday, May 23, a team of investigators from the Missouri Rural Major Case Squad entered a vacant home in the 1200 block of SE 650 Road near Green Ridge in Johnson County after receiving an overnight tip that Horn was known to frequent the area. The house was a former caretaker’s house for the Kearn Memorial Wildlife Area.

Pettis County Sheriff’s Office deputies found Horn in a closet holding a handgun. He refused to surrender, and after threatening the officers with his weapon, they shot and killed Horn, ending a 24-day search for the suspect.

Courtesy of Sedalia Democrat