A man who held his captive inside a wooden box for over four months, has finally been located by law enforcement. The encounter didn’t fare well for him, the woman who had escaped from that box, or the 17 year-old son who was helping to watch over her.
The woman, who had managed to escape from the “locked” box in late April, has been confirmed dead earlier this week, along with her son.
James Barton Horn, Jr., who had been charged with two homicides, kidnapping, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon, was fatally shot by police in a home in Johnson County, Lt. Sonny Lynch of Rural Missouri Major Case Squad stated.
“He was in a closet. He was armed. He refused to surrender, he threatened officers, and he was shot and killed,” Lynch told reporters.
Police stated that Horn, 47, had kept Sandra Sutton, his ex-girlfriend, in a box at his home in Sedalia, in the west-central portion of the state, from January until her escape, April 30th.
Law Enforcement was called Thursday to a house in Clinton, about 45 miles from Sedalia, where they found Sutton, 46 and her son, Zachary Sutton, 17, shot to death. The two had been staying with relatives, after she fled from her alleged captor, police stated.
Her body was found in the bedroom and her son’s was on the stairs, and were found by relatives about 4:30 a.m. They were discovered by family members who were working on the overnight shift,” Lynch, who works for the Clinton Police Department, said Friday. “They had been away working when this happened.”
Their deaths sparked questions from victim’s advocates as to why Sutton didn’t have police protection, since her abductor was still at-large. The two had moved in with her brother, and local authorities apparently did not know she was living in their jurisdiction.
“We did not know she was living in our community,” he said. “We’re still investigating those details. We were not notified that she was in our community.”
Apparently her ex-boyfriend knew where her relatives lived and what shifts they worked, making the attack much easier to perpetrate.
Horn had been in prison several times, raping and kidnapping ex-girlfriends, once in Tennessee, again in North Carolina, and apparently another time in Mississippi. In 2011, prosecutors attempted to argue that Horn was still a danger and should not be released, but the judge ruled that there was no clear proof that Horn had any type of mental impairment, and released him after 13 years.
Although we may never know what would have happened if this young lady and her son had been armed that night, we can definitely see that Law Enforcement, no matter how well-intentioned they are, cannot protect the citizens of this country “100%” of the time. We have to take certain matters into our own hands. Certain instances require us to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
I encourage everyone who is willing to learn safe, responsible firearms handling, and are also willing to take the time to practice, to purchase a firearm and use it to protect yourselves and your loved ones, because a Police Officer may not be around to offer their assistance and protection, when you need it most.