KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a weekend-long kidnapping and assault investigation that left an Excelsior Springs man in custody, neighbors recalled things they had witnessed Friday to KSHB 41.
The investigation was prompted after a neighbor alerted police that a young woman was banging on doors, asking for help.
On Monday, I-Team reporter Sarah Plake spoke with one of the neighbors who took in the young woman and provided her care while the police arrived.
In the short interaction they had with the woman, they say she was able to tell them about some of the horrors she'd gone through.
It was just a whisper, Lisa Johnson said.
"She didn't have much of a voice," said Johnson, who lives on Don Shelton Boulevard. "It was more of a light 'help me' than anything."
Johnson saw a young woman "hunched over," as if almost crawling up her front steps.
Johnson says the woman, weak and bruised up, said she was being held captive by a man up the street.
That man is Tim Haslett, who is now in custody.
As Johnson went to grab the phone to call 911, the young woman started running next door.
"It frightened her. She told me if I called the cops he'd kill us both," Johnson said.
This was at 7:45 in the morning on Friday. Ciara Tharp's grandmother was also at home, next door to Johnson.
"She heard a woman screaming and came knocking on the door, so she opened the door and the lady said, 'You have to help me, I've been raped, I've been held captive,'" Tharp said. "She's like, 'You gotta help me.'"
Tharp's grandma let the young woman in, wrapped her in a blanket and gave her some food and water.
"My grandma could tell she was weak," Tharp said. "She didn't have a whole lot of clothes on. She said she had a metal dog collar around her neck and could see the ligature marks around her wrists."
Tharp said the woman also had duct tape around her neck, as if it had been on her mouth and she pulled it down.
Johnson said she also saw the ligature marks around the woman's wrists and even noticed some on her ankles. She said the woman looked malnourished and couldn't weigh more than 100 pounds. Johnson said the dog collar looked like a homemade shock collar because it had a black box on the front.
The young woman said Haslett, who lives at the white house at Old Orchard Avenue and Don Shelton Boulevard, was the one who sexually assaulted her and held her against her will in the basement. She guessed she'd been there since September.
But that Friday morning, she saw a window of opportunity.
"She said once he left, she flung that door open, let his dog out and she took off," Tharp said.
Tharp says her grandma did the right thing.
"There's a possibility that my grandma got her in the house just in time," Tharp said.
Neighbors on Don Shelton say they never saw Haslett much and never had interactions with him.
"I seen him walk his child up and down the street once in a while, that's about it," said Tim Grover said, who lives next to Johnson and Tharp.
While they're still processing what happened, neighbors want to know what police found in the house and if there are other victims.
But above all, they hope for one thing.
"I just want to know she's getting the help she needs," Johnson said.
Late Friday, Clay County prosecutors charged Haslett with rape, kidnaping and assaults charges and booked him into the Clay County Adult Detention Center.
Sunday night, Excelsior Springs police officers said they had concluded their initial gathering of evidence and had reopened a stretch of Old Orchard Street in front of the home that was the site of an investigation launched Friday.
Due to the lateness of the charges Friday, the ensuing weekend and Monday’s federal holiday, court documents associated with Haslett’s arrest and charging have yet to be formally processed.