Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman, 19, in Kidnap Case Has Checkered Past; She Has History of Disappearances and Sex Abuse Claims, Source Says

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Woman, 19, in Kidnap Case Has Checkered Past; She Has History of Disappearances and Sex Abuse Claims, Source Says

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON PARK - A 19-year-old woman who said she escaped after being held captive for three years in a home here has a history of disappearing and making claims of sexual abuse.

Those claims ran right up until she went missing in St. Louis on April 6, 2009.

She resurfaced this week, reporting that she had escaped from the home of a man she said beat her and sexually assaulted her almost daily, and fathered her 2-year-old son.

According to a law enforcement source, she used to disappear for days from her home in St. Louis - so often that when she was gone the last time, at age 15, family members delayed reporting it on an assumption she would show back up.

She told police this week that she escaped Monday from a home in the 1400 block of Kingshighway in Washington Park, leaving behind her child.

Several heavily armed police officers raided the house late Thursday afternoon. They arrested a man, 25, and his mother, 54, and took two boys, ages 2 and 16, into protective custody. Police have provided no details about the teenage boy.

Washington Park Police Chief David Clark said the woman told officers that the man's mother had helped detain her, and that she had escaped with the help of a relative. Police said she told them she had given birth under an assumed name.

St. Clair County prosecutors deferred until at least today a decision on what to do about her allegations. State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said that "some of the details are consistent with what the young lady is saying, and I think there's something to it. We're still trying to figure out what the heck is going on."

Kelly declined comment Friday night on her past claims.

According to information obtained by the Post-Dispatch:

- The teen first disappeared in 2008 and returned about a week later, without explanation.

- In March 2009, she disappeared for several days before calling authorities to complain of stomach pains. …

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