James Worley allegedly had a blood-stained torture room hidden inside his barn, the latest dark update in the man accused of abducting and killing 20-year-old Sierah Joughin.
Police made the discovery on Worley’s three-acre property near Toledo, Ohio, where Joughin went missing earlier in the month before being found dead. Worley was arrested shortly before police announced the discovery of Joughin’s body, charging him with a felony count of abduction. They later added a count of aggravated murder.
Now, a picture is emerging of James Worley as a calculated predator who may have abducted or killed others. The Washington Post noted that police discovered what appeared to be a torture room hidden behind hay bales inside Worley’s barn.
“Its furnishings were chilling: restraints attached to the walls and a freezer lined with blood-stained carpet.
“Almost as chilling were the contents of Worley’s truck: zip ties, a ski mask, two sets of handcuffs, rope, tape and recording equipment.
“Scattered around his property were more rope, tape, zip ties, handcuffs, firearms and ammunition, alongside several video recording devices and film, according to an arrest warrant released Thursday and obtained by the Toledo Blade.”
The discovery led police to believe that Worley may have had other victims. Court documents obtained by the Toledo Blade found that Sgt. Matthew Smithmyer of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department claimed Worley “fits the profile of a serial offender and could potentially have additional unknown victims who could have been kept at the above described location.”
Sierah Joughin disappeared on July 19 after going on a bike ride with her boyfriend. Her disappearance prompted a search across northwest Ohio, with many volunteers joining in with hopes of finding the missing college student alive.
But those hopes were dashed a little more than three days later when police announced that Sierah’s body had been found in a shallow grave in a cornfield close to one mile from Worley’s property.
There is already one known victim of James Worley. In 1990, he was convicted of abducting a young woman named Robin Gardner under strikingly similar circumstances to Joughin’s disappearance. The Toledo Blade noted that Gardner was biking home on a hot July day when Worley attacked her, dragging the young woman into his truck and handcuffing her.
Gardner broke free and flagged down a motorcyclist, who stopped and pulled to the side of the road. Robin jumped out of the car and over to the man, who drove her back home.
“I walked in and my poor mother, she was making potato salad for a neighborhood picnic. I walk in with this strange man, disheveled with handcuffs,” Gardner said.
Police quickly caught up to Worley, who was still pulled over where Gardner had jumped out of his car. He initially tried to claim that Gardner jumped in front of his truck, leading to an argument in which he handcuffed her to keep her from escaping, but later pleaded guilty and spent three years in prison.
There could be other victims, court records showed. A search of Worley’s property turned up several pairs of women’s underwear, including one pair covered in blood. The property was also lined with hidden cameras, the Washington Post noted.
Police do not believe there was any connection between James Worley and Sierah Joughin prior to the attack, the Toledo Blade reported.
[Image via Fulton County Sheriff’s Office]