Brian Merchant-Jones, a 20-year-old man from West Virginia, has been arrested and charged after he allegedly kidnapped a teenager and held her hostage for over a year.
According to reports from police, Merchant-Jones — from Fairmont, West Virginia — is currently in custody on charges of murder and kidnapping after he allegedly abducted a teenager before keeping her captive and sexually assaulting her for over a year.
Additionally, Merchant-Jones is accused of physically assaulting the unidentified victim so severely that she miscarried the child she was carrying.
The victim said that Merchant-Jones assaulted her “almost daily” and restricted her access to the outside world.
The victim, who was last seen on Sunday, March 4, 2018, was located by police on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.
Merchant-Jones was arrested by West Virginia authorities around 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 2. Following his arrest, he was taken to North Central Regional Jail, where he is currently being held.
He has been officially charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and malicious assault.
Speaking to reporters, Sheriff Jimmy Riffle said that Merchant-Jones and the victim “moved from residence to residence during that time frame.”
“We received reports from a juvenile that Mr. Merchant was abusive and had held her against her will and had kicked her in the abdominal area while she was pregnant with child, causing a miscarriage,” Riffle added.
At the time of this writing, it is unclear if Merchant-Jones has retained the services of a lawyer.
This was not Merchant-Jones’ first-run in with the law in recent years, as he was previously arrested by the Fairmont Police Department on September 8, 2018, after he allegedly attacked a 19-year-old.
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