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Timothy Haslett Jr. charged with murder in relation to Excelsior Springs kidnapping case

A 22-year-old woman was allegedly kidnapped and held hostage for a month in this Excelsior Springs, Missouri, home. She says Timothy Haslett Jr., locked her in a small room in the basement of his house, and bound her wrists and ankles in handcuffs
file photo by Zach Perez
/
KCUR 89.3
A 22-year-old woman was allegedly kidnapped and held hostage for a month in this Excelsior Springs, Missouri, home. She says Timothy Haslett Jr., locked her in a small room in the basement of his house, and bound her wrists and ankles in handcuffs

Clay County Prosecutor Zach Thompson announced Tuesday that Timothy Haslett Jr. is charged with first-degree murder for the killing of Jaynie Crosdale. Haslett was previously accused of kidnapping a Black woman and holding her in his basement.

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged Timothy Haslett Jr., with the murder of Jaynie Crosdale, a 36-year-old Black woman found last year in the Missouri River.

The Clay County man has previously been charged with kidnapping another Black woman and holding her in his Excelsior Springs basement — a case that drew national outrage over the police treatment of missing persons cases.

A grand jury brought 10 felony charges against Haslett, including first-degree murder.

Timothy Haslett, Jr.'s booking photo.
Excelsior Springs Police Department
Timothy Haslett, Jr.'s booking photo.

Kayakers found the body of Crosdale, whose family called her J-Bird, a year ago in a blue barrel floating in Saline County, Missouri. Authorities had been looking for Crosdale for months because she was a potential witness in the Haslett kidnapping case.

Haslett is also charged with rape, four counts of sodomy in the first degree, two counts of second-degree assault, kidnapping, and endangering the welfare of a child.

"Today's indictment represents the next step in our pursuit of justice for the victims, the families and our community," said Clay County Prosecutor Zach Thompson. "The physical, psychological and sexual torture described by the defendant's surviving victim is brutal and barbaric."

Haslett's earlier nine charges stem from allegedly beating, raping and holding a 22-year-old Black woman captive. He was first arrested Oct. 7, 2022 after the woman escaped his basement where she was being held as a "sex slave," as Haslett referred to her, according to court documents.

The woman, identified as "T.J." in police reports, escaped after being held for more than a month, and told police that more women might have been victimized.

Soon after, Black leaders in Kansas City criticized the Kansas City Police Department for failing to take seriously the issue of missing Black women. Since Haslett's arrest, the KCPD reinstated its disbanded Missing Persons unit.

In addition to the statements from T.J., Thompson said Crosdale appears on a photo taken from Haslett’s electronic device showing her inside his basement. A photo storage card recovered from his home shows people associated with Crosdale. Thompson also said barrel containing Crosdale's body was from the same manufacturer as others found at his house.

Thompson said the charges represent the evidence currently available to them but the investigation remains ongoing. He urged anybody with additional information to reach out to the authorities.

Haslett, who is white, has pleaded not guilty.

He is being held on a $5 million bond.

As KCUR's health reporter, I cover the Kansas City metro in a way that reflects our expanding understanding of what health means and the ways it touches different communities and different areas in distinct ways. I will provide a platform to amplify ideas and issues often underrepresented in the media and marginalized people and communities in an authentic and honest way that goes beyond the surface of the issues. I will endeavor to find and include in my work local experts and organizations that have their ears to the ground and a beat on the health needs of the community. Reach me at noahtaborda@kcur.org.
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