A potential witness, who may also be a victim, in a brutal kidnapping and rape case was found dead in the Missouri River a year after she went missing.
And she might not be the only victim, said Bishop Tony Caldwell, a Kansas City community leader who’s been fighting for missing Black women in the area.
A body found in Saline County, Missouri, in June has been identified as Jaynie Crosdale, Clay County prosecutors said Monday. Police had been looking for her as a possible witness against Timothy Haslett Jr.
Haslett was arrested last October after a woman wearing a dog collar told police she escaped from his basement in Excelsior Springs, where he allegedly raped and tortured her for a month, including with devices connected to electrical currents, according to court documents.
Crosdale’s family had not heard from her since last August, according to her sister, who wished to remain anonymous because of safety concerns.
Crosdale struggled with addiction, and her siblings argued before her disappearance, her sister told Fox News Digital during an emotional interview Tuesday morning.
“I really didn’t know anything was going on until I saw her picture splashed across the news about the police wanting to speak to her,” she said. “That’s why this hurts so bad, because we weren’t on speaking terms at the time.”
Crosdale’s sister suspected something was wrong when her sister missed posting a social media tribute to their late father, which she had done annually since he died about eight years ago.
“That’s when I knew like, this is not right. Jaynie would at least post something on Facebook, and I saw she hadn’t been active on social media in a long time,” her sister said.
The Clay County Prosecutor’s Office has not filed additional charges against Haslett in connection with Crosdale’s death, and declined to say how Crosdale died or if foul play is suspected.
But prosecutors filed a motion to increase Haslett’s bond, which is currently $3 million, to “protect the community” and requested that the motion “be heard at the earliest opportunity.”
“Details of an ongoing investigation which impacts the present case, and causes greater concern for the safety of the community,” prosecutors wrote in Monday’s motion, which was obtained by Fox News Digital.
“Defendant’s current bond is insufficient to insure the safety of the community and the victim and accordingly, his current bond should be increased.”
Fox News Digital left a message with Haslett’s lawyer, Missouri State Public Defender Tiffany Leuty.
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Crosdale’s sister broke down as she tried to picture her sister’s final moments.
“I shouldn’t be thinking about it, but it clicks in my head like what did he do to her? What did she go through before she died?”
Crosdale struggled with addiction, which strained her relationship with her family, according to her sister. But when she was clean, “she was the sweetest person.”
“She had a bad habit. She went through a lot growing up, but she was still a human being,” her sister said. “She was very free-hearted and happy when she was Jaynie, when she was sober and things like that.
“I’ll always remember just how happy she was. She would do anything in the world for anybody.”
Before their relationship was strained, it appeared Crosdale was getting her life back on track. The sisters were hanging out every day.
“We just had fun going out eating and talking and just laughing,” she said. “Jaynie would tell me different stories about some stuff that happened with her, and I just would laugh at some stuff, and (other times) be like, ‘Jaynie, you really did a wild life out here.'”
“She was such a happy person when she was in a good place in her life, and when there were no drugs around.”
Haslett is facing a litany of felonies, including first-degree rape, four counts of first-degree sodomy, first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree assault and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges, which are connected to one victim, who is referred to as “TJ” in court documents.
Haslett allegedly assaulted her “with the purpose of terrorizing TJ,” whipped her, held her in a dog collar and tormented her with devices attached to electrical currents between Sept. 1, 2022, and Oct. 7, 2022, according to the criminal complaint.
TJ allegedly escaped Haslett’s home, and ran to a nearby home in the Kansas City suburb, where police found her.
She was wearing a metal collar with what appeared to be a padlock on the front, and a trash bag, according to police.
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Responding officers removed the lock, which they said was restricting the woman’s breathing, according to a probable cause affidavit, and “TJ” pointed out Haslett’s home on the way to the hospital.
“He kept her restrained in handcuffs on her wrists and ankles. She was able to get free when he took his child to school,” the affidavit says.
Since Haslett’s arrest last October, there has been speculation that there are more victims and fears about a possible serial killer.
The rumors prompted a response from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, which said in an Oct. 11, 2022, Facebook post, “There are rumors on social media that there are additional deceased victims. There is NO EVIDENCE of that at this time.”
Bishop Caldwell, of Eternal Life Church in Kansas City, who has been one of the greatest advocates for “TJ” and other potential victims in this case, said he “knows” there are more victims.
“TJ” ultimately banged on neighbor Cira Tharp’s door begging for help, and the Tharp’s grandmother saved her.
She reportedly told Tharp’s grandmother that she was afraid Haslett would kill her if he found out she escaped, and, “She told her, ‘My friends didn’t make it. He killed my friends,'” Tharp said in previous interviews with other outlets.
Crosdale’s body being recovered “proves TJ was not lying,” Caldwell told Fox News Digital. “That’s been proven several times, and it just really hurts my heart.
“Here’s a victim, that has to prove that they’re the victim, but it just goes to show you now that her statements were true. The young lady was in there with her,” said Caldwell, referring to Crosdale.
Fox News Digital asked the prosecutor’s office if Crosdale is just considered a witness, or if investigators believe she was in Haslett’s basement, but the prosecutor’s office declined to answer to protect the investigation.
When Crosdale disappeared, Caldwell said they had information from the community about other missing women allegedly connected to Haslett, which he shared with police.
He said there could be at least two other victims and “likely” more.
“Everyone knows on the street level that (Crosdale) was one of the young ladies that was spotted with him that never returned,” he said.
“There was at least two before that were in that area that came up missing that we know got into a vehicle with him, and they’ve never seen them since, even before TJ came up missing.”
Prosecutors would not comment on whether Haslett had other victims. It’s “a very active and fluid investigation,” a spokesperson for the prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.
Haslett’s lawyer did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
His next court date is Sept. 11, and a date for the prosecution’s motion had not been set as of Tuesday afternoon.