Jessica Machetta, @jmachetta

SEDALIA, Mo. (KMOX) – West Central Missouri authorities are on the hunt for a Sedalia man accused of locking his girlfriend in a wooden box, and now is suspected of murder.

horn Sedalia Woman Who Escaped being Held Captive in Box, 17 year old Son, Found Murdered in Clinton

James Horn (Credit: National Sex Offender Registry,

James B. Horn, 47, is charged with kidnapping, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon after allegedly holding a woman captive in a wooden box from January through April of this year.

The victim escaped and apparently was living in Clinton with family members, but declined to file a protection order, according to Lt. Sonny Lynch — Assistant Chief of Police for Clinton.

Lynch said at a press conference that the victim was urged to seek protection by the Missouri Sheriff’s Association’s victim advocate, but for some reason chose not to. He stressed that blame lies not with the victim, but with her captor, and he believes, her murderer — Horn.

Police were dispatched to a home in the 700 block of East Franklin St. around 4:20 a.m. Thursday after relatives of Sandra Kay Sutton, 46, and her son, Zachary Wade Sutton, 17, came home and found them both dead.

Police then surrounded Horn’s home in Sedalia, 45 miles away. A SWAT team was outside the home for several hours, but left without Horn in custody.

Police believe Horn returned to Sedalia because the car Sandra Sutton had been driving while in Clinton was found at Sedalia’s Bothwell Regional Health Center.

Horn had reportedly never been taken into custody since the alleged kidnapping.

Before her death, Sutton had told police that Horn would make her stay in the box when he was not at home, and any other time he wanted her to go there, but otherwise was with Horn, who threatened her life if she tried to leave. That’s why neighbors never suspected anything about what appeared to be a normal domestic relationship. Sutton also said Horn took her cell phone and would send texts periodically to friends and family so as to not raise suspicion.

Horn is a registered sex offender and served several years in a Tennessee prison for kidnap and rape.

Sutton’s mother talked to Kansas City’s Fox 4 after the murders. She said she is terrified, and that police have been to her house several times. She said she is scared that she is next on Horn’s list to kill.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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