Woman Held Captive in Box Found Slain Alongside Son, Murderer on the Lam

(By Afarin Majidi)

A woman held captive by boyfriend for four months in a box after trying to break up with him was found murdered alongside her son early this morning. Sandra Kay Sutton, 46, and her son Zachary, 17, were staying at a family member’s home, seeking safety from James Barton Horn Jr, the ex boyfriend. Their slain bodies were discovered after family members arrived home after work.

Police have identified Horn as the suspect for the crime. Before the murder, he’d been charged with kidnapping, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon for keeping Sandra in a wooden box for approximately four months earlier this year in Sedalia, Missouri. Now, he’s wanted for murder but he’s still at large. Clinton police say that a vehicle was taken from the family home in which the victims were found. The vehicle was later found in Sedalia, where schools are now on lockdown and the search for Horn continues.

Police said the wooden box Sutton had been kept in was only a little bit larger than a coffin, covered in insulation to hide her screams and with a small hole so the woman could breathe. The box had a sleeping bag, reading materials, flashlights and a bucket for her waste. In addition to being forced into the box each time Horn left the home, Sutton said he’d rape her every night.

Twenty three years before Horn was charged with kidnapping and keeping Sutton in a box for four months, he had been convicted of a similar crime.Horn was a registered sex offender: In 1992 he was charged with kidnapping and raping a different girlfriend who tried breaking up with him.

A warrant for Horn’s arrest has been active since early May, well before he allegedly murdered Sutton and her son.

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