CLINTON, Mo. (AP) — Police say evidence from a gun proves that a western Missouri man killed a former girlfriend and her teenage son weeks after he was charged with forcing her to stay inside a wooden crate at their home.
James Horn Jr., 47, of Sedalia was shot and killed by police May 24, three days after Sandra Sutton, 46, and her 17-year-old son, Zachary, were found shot to death at a relative’s home in Clinton.
Authorities had been searching for Horn since he was charged in early May with kidnapping Sandra Sutton. Investigators alleged he sometimes restricted her to a wooden box for four months at their home in Sedalia, about 45 miles from Clinton. She escaped on April 30 and called authorities, but Horn was gone when officers arrived.
Bullets from a .40-caliber Glock that was found with Horn after he was killed were used in the Suttons’ deaths, Clinton Assistant Chief Sonny Lynch told KMBC-TV (http://bit.ly/1HSEssp ) Wednesday.
“We are convinced that Mr. Horn was the person that killed these people and that he didn’t have any accomplices,” he said. “There is no further threat to the Sutton family or anyone else.”
Horn stole five guns from a home outside Sedalia shortly after Sandra Sutton’s escape, police said. Two handguns were with him when he was killed and three long guns were found hidden in an abandoned camper less than a mile from the home where the guns were stolen.
Lynch said investigators also believe Horn rode a bicycle to Clinton on the day of the shootings, despite an intensive three-week manhunt that began after Sandra Sutton escaped captivity. A bicycle was found two doors from the home where the Suttons were killed. Police also found a to-do list in Horn’s possession when he died that included checking bike tire pressure and making a timeline.
Police believe Zachary Sutton was shot simply because he was in the house.
Surveillance video showed Horn driving Sandra Sutton’s car away from the shooting scene and later parking at a hospital in Sedalia. When he was found in a home a few days later, he drew his gun and officers shot him, police said.