HomeTop Stories‘Potential witness’ sought in Excelsior Springs kidnapping, torture case found dead

‘Potential witness’ sought in Excelsior Springs kidnapping, torture case found dead

Six months after Kansas City area law enforcement began publicly circulating information of a “potential witness” in a high-profile kidnapping and torture case, authorities say her remains have been found in Saline County, Missouri.

Clay County prosecutors said Monday that the office was notified the remains had been matched to Jaynie Crosdale, 36, of Kansas City. In January, a photograph of Crosdale, who is Black, was broadcast by Excelsior Springs police and the Clay County Investigative Squad as they sought information related to the investigation of Timothy M. Haslett.

Authorities have yet to outline the circumstances surrounding Crosdale’s death or how it pertains to Haslett’s ongoing criminal case. The office was filing a motion to increase his bond from $3 million based on the development.

Since last year, Haslett’s case has raised concerns among Black Kansas City community leaders that police were not taking reports of missing Black women seriously enough.

Haslett has been jailed since October. He was charged with kidnapping, rape and other crimes after a 22-year-old woman ran down his street, barely clothed and wearing a collar around her neck, and begged neighbors to help her.

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Excelsior Springs police searched Haslett’s house in the 300 block of Old Orchard Avenue for three days. They also brought a cadaver dog, a canine trained to detect human remains, to examine his rental property and pickup truck last year — though they never made any findings public.

Details that came from court papers identified the escapee as a Black woman who’d been picked up somewhere on Prospect Avenue in September. She remained captive in a basement room Haslett had built, she told police, where she was raped repeatedly and whipped.

The case struck a nerve among many Black Kansas City leaders and residents as Haslett, who is white, is accused of keeping a Black woman in his home for weeks unbeknownst to law enforcement, after police had dismissed reports that a killer was on the loose and that Black women were going missing in Kansas City. One of the issues raised regarded concerns around reporting missing persons and the barriers critics say the Black community faces in making missing persons reports.

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Police have said the woman who reportedly escaped had not been reported missing. They have also said Crosdale was never reported missing.

In the motion filed Monday, Clay County prosecutors say the office “was provided details of an ongoing investigation which impact the present case, and cause greater concern for the safety of the community than had previously been addressed.”

“The family of Ms. Crosdale has been notified, and our hearts go out to them for their loss,” the Clay County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement. “Our office is working closely with law enforcement to gather all evidence and information that is needed to build the strongest case possible and deliver justice for Jaynie Crosdale.”

Alexander Higginbotham, a spokesman for the Clay County, declined to provide further details about the investigation of Crosdale’s death on Friday. He said the office anticipates being able to share more information publicly in the near future.

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The Star’s Glenn E. Rice contributed to this report.

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