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Suspect in double murder remains at large

Police continue to search for James Horn, the prime suspect in the murders of Sandra Kay Hutton and her son Zachary. Officers believe Horn is in the Sedalia area, though various sighting reports have turned out to be false. Horn should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police further warn that Horn is an avid outdoorsman and knows the area well. His hair may also be longer than it is in a photo that has been circulating.

Early Thursday morning, Clinton police officers were called to a house and found Sandra Kay, 46, Zachary, 17, dead from gunshot wounds.

The victims were discovered when Sutton’s brother and wife returned home from work.

Sutton had gone to live with those family members in Clinton after escaping from being held captive in a wooden box for months at the Sedalia home of 47-year-old James Barton Horn Jr. Horn is Sutton’s former boyfriend and has been charged with kidnapping, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon for that alleged crime.

A SWAT team and multiple law enforcement agencies surrounded the home for 7 hours and Horn was not inside three homes that were searched. Horn was not inside any of the homes, and a manhunt is currently underway to find him.

Sedalia Police had warrants to search Horn’s family members’ homes in the area, but found no trace of him.

Horn is described as 5 feet eleven inches tall and weighs approximately 175 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Horn should be considered armed and dangerous.

At 1:00, Clinton Police said Sedalia Police were surrounding Horn’s home and a few others that are unoccupied in the area. Clinton Police had 30 investigators at the scene where Sutton and her son were found.

Neighbors in the area told ABC 17 News they heard one gunshot at 11:00 a.m.

Family members of Sutton told police Sutton’s car was missing from their home when they returned home from work to find Sutton and her son dead Thursday morning.

That car was found at Bothwell Hospital in Sedalia, which is close to Horn’s home on Marvin Street.

Police said they believe Horn knew Sutton’s brother and wife would be at work on the night shift because he also worked with them at Tyson Foods in Sedalia.

Sutton was not in protective custody between escaping captivity and the time of her death, according to Clinton Police.

Clinton Police said they didn’t know she was living in town, and she did not file for an order of protection from Horn.

Clinton Police are trying to find out if Horn had contact with Sutton after she reported to police that she was held captive for months.

Police warn anyone who could come in contact with him to consider Horn armed and dangerous.

Clinton Police Chief Kevin Miller has requested activation of the Missouri Rural Major Case Squad to meet this morning to begin investigating this crime.

Clinton police detectives are working at the crime scene with the assistance of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s DDCC Unit and the Henry County Sheriff’s Department.

Clinton High School has two counselors available for students and staff through this afternoon.

Sedalia Public Schools were not on lockdown, but all outdoor activities were canceled as a precaution.

If you or anyone that you know has any information about this crime or the whereabouts of James Barton Horn Jr., please call the Clinton Police Department immediately at 660-885-2679.

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