“My son was not my son” father says of man accused of kidnapping and torturing woman

Clinton County, Missouri: Police, and soon thereafter SWAT, were called to a residence in Lake Arrowhead, a private community south of Lathrop, Missouri after a woman escaped a residence there and told officers that she had been held captive and assaulted for two days.


"It was learned that while this female was being held against her will, she was severely assaulted and tortured for 2 days," Sheriff Larry Fish stated in a post on Facebook.


The initial call at approximately 9:30 am on Saturday, May 14, was answered by Clinton County Sheriff's deputies and Missouri Highway Troopers.


The unidentified 31-year-old woman was transported to an area hospital where she was listed as being in guarded critical condition. Her current condition is not known.


Officers attempted to make contact with the residents of the home, but no one responded.


Negotiators responded to the scene which got one resident to emerge. The second, later identified as 39-year-old James Merritt Larson, Jr., was reportedly holed up inside with a firearm and reportedly suicidal.


Tri-County SWAT and a K9 unit responded to the scene and after a five-hour stand off, entered the home and found Larson in a false wall o the home and too him into custody.


He is being held at the Clinton County Jail on an unrelated no-bond parole violation warrant.


Monday morning, James Larson Sr., approached the media outside of the gated community to provide his version of events.


He told the media that he had hoped that his son "was a changed man" after returning from Oklahoma where he had been released from prison in March. "It was good for about a week."


James said that he had met the woman on Friday, May 13 shortly before he left the home at about 3 pm to visit family in St. Joseph. When he returned at about 8 pm he said, "my son was not my son- he was not who I thought he was."


The woman was able to provide a statement to police saying that she had met Larson 4 days prior on Facebook Dating. Everything was fine until some point on Thursday when she said that "it was like a flip of the switch" and he began to allegedly beat her.


The woman alleged that Larson had "punched her with closed fists, kicked her with steel-toe boots, and hit her in the head with what she described as an ice pick" according to the probable cause statement.


On Monday night, the Clinton County Prosecutor's Office announced that Larson had been charged with domestic assault, felony kidnapping, felony armed criminal action and felony possession of a firearm. His initial court appearance was scheduled for this morning at 11:30 am according to court records.


Missouri court records indicate that Larson previously plead guilty to third-degree domestic assault in 2006.


According to the Kansas City Star, Larson had been incarcerated in Oklahoma for most of the past eight years following a conviction of assault and battery on a law enforcement officer, escaping from detention and other crimes.