A 36-year-old Michigan man kidnapped a woman, held her captive, sexually assaulted her for weeks—and threatened to “rip out her throat” with teeth he’d filed down into sharp points, cops say.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson identified the suspect as Michael Barajas, who he said approached the 20-year-old victim around Thanksgiving and offered her a place to stay after she’d been kicked out of her house.
The victim, who has not been identified, was pregnant and was especially vulnerable as Barajas spotted her on the street, Swanson said in a video shared Wednesday on Facebook.
Hoping to get out of the cold, the woman accepted Barajas’ offer. As soon as they arrived at the home, however, Barajas allegedly barricaded the woman inside, tied her to a bed, and subjected her to repeated sexual assaults by numerous suspects over the course of three weeks.
She was allegedly locked inside a room where the windows had been screwed shut to keep her from escaping.
“This story is horrifying. Rarely do I ever use adjectives like I’m going to use for this case,” Swanson said.
Throughout the ordeal, the sheriff said, the alleged kidnapper repeatedly warned the victim he would use his sharpened teeth to “rip out her throat” if she didn’t do as she was told.
“It’s bizarre. This guy, he’s a monster,” Swanson said, calling it “chilling” that he “threatened to sink his teeth into the victim’s neck.”
He said Barajas was trying to live out a “fantasy,” forcing the victim to write a letter and “describe him as daddy.”
The victim made three escape attempts and in the first two was snatched back up by her alleged kidnapper and other suspects in the house. The third one, in which the victim suffered a “medical emergency” related to her pregnancy, was ultimately successful after medical staff at a hospital contacted authorities to report that the woman had clearly been abused.
Police say Barajas was arrested that same day and faces a string of charges: human trafficking, kidnapping, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, possession of methamphetamine, and assault. He is currently being held on a $245,000 bond.
The investigation is ongoing, with police now hunting for multiple other suspects accused of taking part in the sexual assaults.
“There’s more out there,” Swanson said.