Police: Suspects held woman in barn for 8 days
Three Homedale residents have been arrested after police say in December they attacked a woman, chained her to a wall inside a barn and held her there for eight days before she escaped. Police expect more charges and believe there may be other victims connected with the case.
Owyhee County Sheriff’s deputies first spoke with the woman not long after her escape just after midnight on Dec. 22 in the 4400 block of Hogg Road. Homedale is about 22 miles west of Nampa.
At that time, she still had three feet of chain locked to her ankle, according to police reports. The chain had been secured with a bolt and two nuts, as well as tape, but she told officers she used tweezers and a drill bit to pick the lock that was securing her to the wall. She then slipped out of the barn on the property, ran across a field and started knocking on neighbors’ doors until someone answered. One neighbor called police.
The ordeal began eight days earlier, on Dec. 14, at the property where she lived with her husband in an RV, in the 4200 block of Lootens Lane.
Chancey Baker, Mikal Christensen, and Tressa Sipes — all who were later arrested in connection with the incident — lived in another RV on the property. On that day, according to police reports, the woman told Baker she was leaving the property with the children who lived there.
“Chancey did not want her to leave with the kids, so they began to argue and it turned into a fight,” according to a probable cause affidavit. “(The woman) was winning the fight so Chancey called (Christensen) and at least one of (the woman’s) children over to help him. They were able to tie her up with a rope and put tape around her. They then put her in the milk barn.”
While Christensen told police Baker was the “mastermind” of the kidnapping, he acknowledged he’d been there and knew about what happened, according to the affidavit.
“At one point I asked Christensen how this was supposed to end,” the police officer wrote. “He looked at me kind of funny, and then (another officer) asked him ‘what the end game was.’ Christensen said, ‘Chancey said we were going to overdose her on her medicine and then drop her body off at Jump Creek.’”
When police searched the barn where the woman had been held for eight days, they found “several pill bottles with (the woman’s) name on them,” according to police reports. Those bottles were in the barn where “a room had been built inside with propane heat.”
“The room had a single bed and a dresser. ... There was a large TV and two laptop type computers. There was a chain attached to the wall, which visually matched the chain that had been on (the woman’s) leg with a lock on the end.”
That lock had been gouged open, according to another police report.
“Outside the room, there were shelves affixed to the wall,” according to police reports. “There was a blue tackle box located on the shelf. A small black stun gun was located inside the tackle box.”
The woman told police Baker and Christensen would “come in and check on her every couple of days and bring her some food and water.”
Although Christensen and Baker checked on her most often, police believe Sipes knew about the woman being held hostage, too. Christensen told officers Sipes was having an affair with the woman’s husband. He remembered a time Sipes picked him up from work, and she drove him to Subway for dinner. She asked him what the woman would want to eat.
“This was around day seven of (the woman) being chained up and held against her will in the old milk barn,” according to police reports. “This indicated Tressa had knowledge of where (the woman) was and she was locked up in the milk barn.”
By then, the woman told police, “Chancey Baker had been threatening everyone who lives at the residence and had left with her husband...and their children to go to Salmon, Idaho for Christmas.”
Owyhee County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Baker, Christensen and Sipes not long after that. Baker faces multiple charges, including second-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping. Christensen is also charged with second-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping, as well as possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and burglary.
Sipes is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree kidnapping and burglary.
On Thursday, prosecutors filed an additional 21 charges against Baker — 10 counts of lewd conduct with a child younger than 16 years old, and 11 counts of sexual abuse of a child younger than 16. That’s because, according to police reports, officers found a video of him on an SD card abusing a 10-year-old boy.
Owyhee County Sheriff Perry Grant told the Idaho Press Friday he expects there are other victims in the case.
“We have reason to believe there are other victims and we are requesting for anyone, whether it is a victim or someone with information about a victim, to come forward,” Grant said.
He also expects more charges against Baker.
“There was one video I couldn’t open but once I got the proper program I got it opened, and it was similar acts against the same victim,” Grant said. “Once I get that processed there will be more charges.”
Baker is a registered sex offender, who in 2004 was convicted of lewd conduct with a child younger than 16 years old.
Idaho Press reporter Riley Bunch contributed to this story.