SEDALIA, Mo. - Police are searching for a man they believe held his girlfriend captive inside a wooden box for four months, reports CBS affiliate KCTV.
Court documents reportedly show that James Barton Horn, Jr., 47, has a history of torturing and holding women captive that are breaking up with him.
Police were alerted to the case after a "hysterical" woman fled Horn's residence Thursday evening. The frantic woman called 911 from a neighbor's home just after 6 p.m. Thursday to say she had just managed to escape.
"When officers contacted the victim, she told them the suspect routinely locked her in a wooden box inside the residence where they lived," according to the Sedalia Police Department news release. "Upon responding to her residence, officers did observe a large wooden box consistent with what the female described."
As officers began to search for Horn, they also obtained a search warrant for the residence.
"Upon further inspection of the box, it did appear to be constructed for the purpose of concealing a person," according to the news release. "The wooden box itself along with other evidence was collected from the scene."
The Sedalia Democrat reported that the woman said she had been held captive since January after their consensual relationship turned sinister, and that he controlled her interactions with family members. The man's vehicle was found so officials aren't sure how he's traveling now.
Horn is listed on the national sex offender list for an offense that occurred in the Memphis area, and KCTV obtained a mugshot from that website. He was convicted for a 1992 sex offense that involved a 22-year-old woman.
Court records show that Horn has several times been accused of torturing and holding women captive, spent years in prison and a judge said Horn could commit another violent sex act before releasing him.