ST. LOUIS - The light in the window of apartment 2W is still on a cold Friday night. But the darkness is finally over for a woman who says she was held hostage in the Southampton neighborhood for more than 100 days.
Clifton Wilkes is accused in of kidnapping her on October 15, 2013. Prosecutors say he held her hostage until this week.
The victim told officers she woke up in Wilkes' apartment without any pants on. She said Wilkes refused to let her leave and padlocked the room every time he left the home.
"I noticed he took the lock off the door and went in the room and talked to her," said neighbor Willneachtra Carson.
Carson saw the padlocks on the doors in the six or seven times time she came to Wilkes home. She said she didn't ask questions because she didn't think it was her business. She said the couple often walked their dogs in the neighborhood. She never saw them argue or fight.
"They had a relationship, they'd been going together," said Charlie McKay. He said he was at Wilkes' home almost every day.
"Yeah I seen him hit her, I seen her push him, he kicked the dog down the stairs and punch her in the eye," said McKay.
He said it was the only time he saw Wilkes hit the woman. The woman told police Wilkes repeatedly raped her, strangled her so hard she would lose consciousness, slapped her with such force, he broke the bones in her face. She says he would hit her with a mop handle.
Court documents say she escaped from Wilkes earlier this week and ran to a friend's home. She said Wilkes broke in and dragged her by the hair back to his home. Court documents don't say how she was eventually rescued.
Clifton Wilkes is charged with kidnapping, sodomy, rape, assault, and animal abuse. Prosecutors say he kicked, hit and tied a 5-month-old pit bull to a fence.
He'll be back in court Feb. 28. He's in jail on $500,000 bond.