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Woman in dog collar says she escaped captivity at Missouri home

"You have to help me, I’ve been raped. I’ve been held captive,” the woman pleaded, said a neighbor who responded to a knock on her front door .

A woman was held captive, raped and assaulted for weeks in a Missouri home until she escaped last week, wearing a metal collar, and sought help from neighbors, police said in court documents.

A suspect, Timothy Haslett Jr., 39, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree rape, aggravated sexual offense, first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault, according to a complaint filed in Clay County Circuit Court.

Police found the woman Friday wearing a metal collar with a padlock and latex lingerie, with duct tape around her mouth, Excelsior Springs police said in a probable cause statement filed Friday.

The woman told police that Haslett picked her up in the beginning of September and kept her in a small room in his basement, restraining her wrists and ankles with handcuffs, police said in the document. The woman said Haslett raped her repeatedly and whipped her while she was held hostage, police said, adding that the woman had injuries on her back.

The woman said she was able to escape when Haslett took his child to school, police said.

Ciara Tharp and Lisa Johnson, neighbors who spoke to NBC affiliate KSHB of Kansas City on Monday, said that after the woman escaped last week, she started banging on doors and pleading for help.

The woman reported the allegations to authorities at 7:47 a.m. Friday, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Haslett was arrested Friday in Excelsior Springs, 28 miles northeast of Kansas City, the sheriff’s office said.

The home where neighbors raised the alarm in Excelsior Springs, Mo.
The home where neighbors raised the alarm in Excelsior Springs, Mo.Sarah Plake/KSHB / KSHB

Minutes before, Johnson saw the woman hunched over and appearing to crawl up her front steps asking for help, the station reported, citing an interview with Johnson. Johnson noticed the dog collar — it looked like a homemade shock collar — and ligature marks around her wrists and ankles, according to the station.

When Johnson grabbed the phone to call 911, the woman ran away, saying the man who’d held her captive would kill them both, Johnson said, according to the station.

Tharp said in an interview with KSHB that her grandmother, who lives next door, heard a woman knocking on the door, saying, “‘You have to help me, I’ve been raped. I’ve been held captive,” the station reported.

The woman appeared thin, weak and barely clothed, with ligature marks, a metal dog collar and what appeared to be duct tape hanging from her neck, as if it had been pulled down from her mouth, Tharp told the station.

Tharp’s grandmother took her in and provided food, water and a blanket, the station reported. The woman told the grandmother that she’d been held in the basement since last month and that she escaped after her captor left the house Friday morning, Tharp told KSHB.

The sheriff’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Haslett has a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

Haslett was taken into custody after authorities searched his home and the Kansas City police crime scene investigators processed the scene, the sheriff’s office said.