Stepmother urges man accused of holding woman captive in a box to turn himself in

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SEDALIA, Mo. – A woman was shocked to hear police allege that her stepson kept a woman captive in a wooden box for months. Police continue to search for James Horn Jr., who police say held the woman captive since January. Horn’s family lives right down the road, and say they had no idea that was happening.

Horn’s stepmother spoke with FOX 4, but wished to keep her name private.

“He's quiet. He's very, very quiet. He can't sit still too long of a time,” his stepmother said. “If I would've known this to be true, which I don't, I would probably have a hard time sleeping at night.”

She said the family is having a hard time with the news, and told FOX 4 she had recently heard her stepson had a girlfriend, who he met at work at Tyson Foods in Sedalia. She said the two had recently visited her.

“She come in the house and she sat in the chair. We talked about James working all these long hours. She didn't get to see him very much because all he did is work,” the stepmother said.

She said she was shocked to hear police say the two were not in a consensual relationship. The woman who sat in her chair told police Horn kept her captive in a home, and at times in a wooden box.

“I don't understand this box thing. It just doesn't sound like the James I know,” his stepmother said.

Horn has been convicted of kidnapping and sexual battery. His name is listed on the Missouri State Highway Patrol sexual offender registry. His family said they were aware of that, but believed he changed his ways.

“It was wrong. He is… You ain't gonna believe this, but he is a religious person. He knew what he was doing as far as living and having sex was wrong,” his stepmother said.

Police say the victim is safe and not injured. They say Horn dumped his truck south of Sedalia in Pettis County. Family has a message they hope he hears.

“James, I don't believe what they're telling me, but to make it easier on you, turn yourself in,” his stepmother said.

Police continue to search for Horn and ask anyone in the public with information to either call 911 or the Sedalia Police Department at (660) 827-7823.

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