A Black woman in Missouri who escaped weeks of captivity in a basement after a white man abducted and tortured her, said several other Black women were killed by her captor, less than a month after police dismissed community concerns about a serial killer as “completely unfounded," the Guardian reports. The woman, 22, who has not been named, escaped on October 7 after about a month in captivity, still wearing a metal collar locked with a padlock. She told Kansas City police that Timothy Haslett had imprisoned her in a basement room in Excelsior Springs – a city just northeast of Kansas City – where he whipped and raped her repeatedly. While Haslett was dropping his child off at school, she escaped and sought help from neighbors whom she told that her friends “did not make it out” and were killed by Haslett, 39.
Prominent community leaders raised concerns about the disappearance of multiple Black women and girls. Last month, the Kansas City Defender, a nonprofit newsroom, published a video of Bishop Tony Caldwell saying he had received information that the missing women had all been kidnapped in Kansas City. The police dismissed the concerns, saying “there is no basis to support this rumor.” The survivor, called TJ in court documents, said Haslett abducted her in early September. Haslett, a scruffy-looking white man with dark brown hair and a greying beard, was detained and pleaded not guilty to charges including rape, kidnap and assault. Bishop Caldwell said, “That was the description of the guy we were talking about and that was the location we said they were being taken from. That’s exactly what we were telling people. I’m sorry people didn’t act on it sooner, and it’s absolutely tragic that the other young ladies didn’t make it. It’s horrible." Kansas City police said they were right to dismiss the concerns as rumors because they had not received any missing person reports. Excelsior Springs police are investigating the possibility that at least two more women were similarly victimized.