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'Bright and witty': Independence Avenue organization remembers Jaynie Crosdale as more than victim

Investigators believe Crosdale is Timothy Haslett Jr.'s murder victim
Posted: 7:15 PM, Jul 10, 2024
Updated: 2024-07-11 08:41:53-04
Jaynie Crosdale

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A year after Jaynie Crosdale's body was found in a blue barrel in the Missouri River, Timothy Haslett Jr. was charged on Tuesday with her murder.

KSHB 41's Sarah Plake has been following the case since its start in October 2022.

VOICE FOR EVERYONE | Share your voice with KSHB 41’s Sarah Plake

We previously learned that Crosdale had received services from Relentless Pursuit Outreach & Recovery on Independence Avenue, formerly known as Christine's Place.

The group helps women who are "in the life" — those who have been trafficked, engage in survival sex work, and struggle with substance abuse.

Crosdale was one of those women.

The other girls said when they didn't see her anymore, that absence was palpable.

"When the news came out about what was going on down here, we started inquiring and no one had seen her," said Michelle Newton, the outreach coordinator for Relentless Pursuit.

Michelle Newton
Michelle Newton

That news, that a young woman escaped Haslett's Excelsior Springs' handmade dungeon, had Newton questioning what happened to her client, Crosdale.

TIMELINE | Case of accused Excelsior Springs murderer, rapist, kidnapper Timothy Haslett Jr.

She immediately wondered if Haslett had anything to do with her disappearance.

"It crossed my mind immediately because predators tend to prey on a specific type, and Jaynie was the same physical characteristics of the lady that escaped, and that's what made me think of Jaynie," Newton said.

Jaynie Crosdale
Jaynie Crosdale utilized the services at Relentless Pursuit Outreach & Recovery and when she stopped coming in, people wondered what happened to her.

Newton and many others knew Crosdale as more than a victim; more than just the woman who was found in a blue barrel last summer.

"Gregarious is the word I could use for Jaynie," Newton said. "She was very headstrong. But I've also known Jaynie when she was clean and sober. And she was smart, bright, and witty."

Jaynie Crosdale
Jaynie Crosdale is remembered as more than a victim, a "bright and witty" woman.

To find out investigators believe Crosdale was another one of Haslett's victims is emotional.

"Beside anger, we were mad; the first thing that crossed my mind was I know Jaynie put up a fight," Newton said.

Newton says Haslett's indictment in her murder is a message to women like Crosdale that justice is possible.

"I want to send a message of hope and know that you're not alone," Newton said. "There are people that do care who can help you, if and when you're ready for help."

And it's a message for the 'Johns' Newton says regularly circle the block near Relentless Pursuit.

"You're not welcome here. These girls are not for sale. They're human beings," Newton said.

As for the question about if there are more victims — investigators said Haslett told his surviving victim he killed two people.

Right now, we don't know about anyone other than Crosdale as an alleged murder victim. That's why this investigation is ongoing.

Investigators were looking at Haslett as a suspect in Crosdale's murder and looking to match barrels pulled off his property to the barrel Crosdale was found in.

They were also going through thousands of photos and videos found in Haslett's home.

Ultimately, the barrel manufacturers matched and a woman showed tied up in photos found in Haslett's home was identified as Crosdale.