PAHRUMP, Nev. — A 23-year-old man sought in connection with the disappearance of a woman in upstate New York was being held Monday in a county jail in southern Nevada on $275,000 bail after his arrest on charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and battery with a deadly weapon.
Jon Wesley Turner of Elmira, New York, was arrested on Thursday after the 25-year-old victim managed to escape from a motel where she allegedly was beaten and sexually assaulted in Beatty about 120 miles (193 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office said.
The woman told detectives Turner beat and choked her then left her unconscious on a street before taking her back to the motel and handcuffing her to furniture. He allegedly continued to beat and choke her and eventually “injured her with a hatchet,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
“At some point during the attack, the victim was able to free herself and flee the room to the motel’s office and requested help,” the sheriff said. Soon after, Turner was located nearby, detained and questioned, the sheriff added.
Turner remained in the Nye County Jail in Pahrump on Monday on charges of first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon and battery domestic violence with strangulation, the sheriff’s office said.
The woman was taken to a Las Vegas Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries. No additional information has been released about her status or condition.
Investigators determined the pair had been reported missing in New York in late August, the sheriff said. The woman told detectives she met Turner online weeks earlier and began a relationship. But later, Turner reportedly forced her to leave New York with him, threatening to kill her if she did not cooperate.
The vehicle they took across the country eventually was found by authorities in the Big Bear area outside of San Bernardino, California, the sheriff said. The two also spent time in Las Vegas before arriving in Beatty, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her in the motel room.
“The victim’s family was left with no information as to her whereabouts due to the fact that Turner was isolating her and she had no way to make a phone call home to her family who began to fear the worst,” the sheriff said.
Turner made an initial court appearance in Beatty Justice Court on Friday. He is scheduled to return for an arraignment on Nov. 13, when he’ll be represented by a public defender who has not yet been assigned, a court spokeswoman said Monday.