When concerned neighbors called 911 after hearing a woman’s screams, police arrived to find a horrific crime scene that they weren’t prepared for. The disturbing discovery proved the perpetrator had “an extreme indifference to the value of human life,” but thankfully, cops had arrived in the nick of time — and it was all caught on video.
Jonna Wilson had no idea what was in store for her when the 37-year-old mother went to her estranged boyfriend’s house to help him clean the Kentucky home they used to share. Sadly, things would not go as planned. Instead, concerned neighbors would soon be calling police to report that they had heard the screams of a woman in distress, and police would arrive to find a horrific scene that they weren’t prepared for.
It was about 7 p.m. on a Wednesday evening when officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department responded to the call about a woman yelling for help from the second story of a home in Park Hill. Body camera footage captured the officers trying to enter the home but finding that the entire first floor, including windows, was completely barricaded.
Concerned neighbors had gathered to watch, and they were quick to help, offering the officers a ladder in order for them to reach a second-story window that had been busted out by the victim, who was calling for help. After an officer ascended the ladder and entered the home, he found a distraught woman, identified as 37-year-old Jonna Wilson, with a chain wrapped around her neck.
The chain, which was secured with a padlock around Wilson’s neck, led to the floor, where it was bolted down in order to prevent the woman from escaping. Police asked Wilson if she knew where the keys were, but she told them she suspected that her ex likely had them. “I don’t know, he’s got it on his keys,” she sobbed. “I tried scissors, I tried everything.”
Police eventually used a hatchet to free the chain from the floor before then using bolt cutters to cut the chains from Wilson’s neck, freeing her from the prison she had endured after her estranged boyfriend chained her up, promising to kill her when he returned home after he had already beaten her, chopped her hair with a machete, stripped her, and burned her clothes.
“[He] forced the victim to take off some of her clothing, stating, ‘You’re gonna get it tonight,’ and, ‘I told you the next time you leave and don’t come home, I’d kill you,’ and slapped her causing pain,” authorities said with the arrest citation adding, “By leaving the victim chained up in the house with no way of calling for help or leaving, [the suspect] manifested an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”
Following her rescue, Jonna Wilson shared her story of survival as police looked for the man responsible, WDRB reported. “I said, ‘This is my only time, if I didn’t get free now, I’ll be dead,’” Wilson recalled. “He made me strip naked, he put the chain around my neck, he called his friend and said, ‘I’ve got to take this equipment back to Lowe’s. When I come back, I’m going to kill you.’ I only had a few minutes to get out.”
Wilson said she was chained up for about five hours. “The neighbors right here, they called 911 and they came and got me,” she added. “If not, he would have killed me,” she continued. “Every door was screwed shut,” she recalled. “The fire department couldn’t even knock down the doors, that’s how bad it was screwed, every window was bolted, every exit, there is no exit in the house.”
Wilson, who shares a 1-year-old daughter with the man, said she “just wants to see him get in jail,” adding, “I just want justice, I want my daughter to be OK.” Two days after her rescue, she’d get her wish, at least in part, when police arrested her estranged boyfriend, 36-year-old Moises May.
May was charged with kidnapping, wanton endangerment, assault (domestic violence), intimidating a participant in the legal process, terroristic threatening, and physical harassment. He was ordered held on a $100,000 bond.
Jonna Wilson is lucky to be alive. If Moises May was willing to chain her to the floor, cut off her hair with a machete, beat her, and burn her clothes, we have very little doubt that he would have made good on his promise and killed her when he returned home. Thanks to Wilson’s own will to live and officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department, May didn’t get that chance. However, not every domestic violence victim gets to share a story of survival. Instead, many never escape their tormentor. That’s why stories like this one need to be told.
If you or someone you know is the suspected victim of domestic violence, there are resources available, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233 or visit www.thehotline.org) as well as local domestic violence hotlines or organizations, such as the YMCA, YWCA, Battered Women’s Shelter, Women Helping Women, Legal Aid Society, or local church resources. Victims can also contact a local police officer or attorney. Whatever the domestic violence victim decides, however, it’s critical to seek professional help right away.