A Black woman who escaped a white Kansas City serial killer has helped pull back the veil on the seemingly ignored reports of missing Black women in the area.
A shocking multi-county investigation was launched last Friday after a 22-year-old Black woman escaped the serial killer who kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and held her captive in the basement of his home, The Kansas City Defender reports.
Timothy Haslett Jr., 39, of Excelsior Springs, was identified as the serial killer possibly behind the reports of missing Black women that seemingly went undetected by local authorities.
The woman who escaped was discovered around 8 a.m. on October 7 after police responded to calls of a woman banging on the doors of homes and crying for help. Ciara Tharp says her grandmother let her inside their home and offered her food and a blanket, The Excelsior Citizen reports.
“I’m really hoping that they find evidence about her friends. If anything, she can have closure about her friends. I just hope they can find everything they need to.”
Reports from the Clay County Prosecutor Probable Cause Statement found that the woman was being held captive inside a self-made basement and only escaped when Haslett left to drop his child off at school.
Haslett also reportedly “whipped her while she was restrained…there were injuries on her back that were consistent with this description,” the statement said.
Other reports found that police had been called to Haslett‘s home three times in the last year to check on his wellbeing, KSHB reports. One of the wellbeing calls was from Haslett’s dad, who lives out of state. The second call came from one of Haslett’s co-workers who became concerned when he didn’t show up for work. The third call, on July 5, 2022, was connected to an animal control concern about an off-leash dog at the home.
Haslett’s arrest comes one month after Bishop Tony Caldwell, a local Kansas City community leader, specifically identified that the women who were missing were being taken from an area on Prospect Avenue in Kansas City. However, the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) made a statement at the time dismissing the claims and referring to the community testimonies as “completely unfounded rumors.”
Local news outlets followed the police department’s sentiments and shared reports silencing any ongoing concern of the missing Black women.
But the woman who escaped says Haslett picked her up on Prospect Avenue in early September (around the time that Bishop Caldwell and other community members began expressing concerns about numerous missing and murdered Black women in the area.)
However, KCPD insisted there was no evidence of a serial killer.
“I could see them saying we can’t comment on an ongoing investigation and leave it at that, but for them to say conclusively, it’s not happening, to completely shut our concerns down, that’s just wrong,” Caldwell said.