Charges filed after police find missing woman - FOX 5 KRBK is Springfield MO source for News and Weather

Charges filed after police find missing woman

Posted: Updated: Apr 18, 2017 10:47 PM

Springfield, Mo - (4/18/17) Two undocumented residents, who are currently living in the United States illegally, have been charged after authorities say they invited a woman inside their residence and held her for more than 48 hours against her will.

Luis Lopez-Lara, 25, and Helmer Alexander Erazo, 23, have been charged with 1st degree kidnapping, 1st degree rape and 1st degree sexual abuse. Jose Rivera, 28, was also mentioned in the probable cause statement and is currently in jail awaiting pending charges.

The victim, a 22-year-old girl with autism, went missing over the weekend and was held against her will by Lopez-Lara and Erazo in their home. The girl told police that she initially ran away from the home, because she was upset. However, the victim ran into the men who cat cat-called her and asked her to drink alcohol with them. Lara and Erazo proceeded to invite the victim into their residence, but Rivera tried to warn her about going inside. 

After she entered the home, Lopez-Lara allegedly hit the woman on the chest and threw her on a bed where he raped her after she tried to escape. The victim, scared and confused, hid in the closet, where Erazo allegedly choked her and bit her neck. According to the probable cause statement, the woman was also starved and locked in the residence during the three days she spent there. The suspects are also said to have threatened her, saying they would kill her if she told anyone what had happened. 

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott stated, "I am thankful that the victim in this case was recovered safely. This investigation is ongoing and we will continue to work to bring justice to the victim in this case. Those with additional information about this case should contact the Green County Sheriff's Office. Questions regarding the case and charges filed should be directed to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney."

First degree rape is punishable by up to life imprisonment, first degree sexual abuse is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and first degree kidnapping is punishable by up to 15 years imprisonment. Erazo is currently being held on a $150,000 bond, while Lopez-Lara is being held without bond. 

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