- Associated Press - Thursday, April 4, 2019

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A 20-year-old West Virginia man is accused of abducting a teenager, holding her hostage for about a year, impregnating her and beating her so severely that she miscarried.

News outlets report Brian Merchant-Jones is in custody on charges including murder and kidnapping. Court records say the juvenile girl had been a runaway since March 2018 and told authorities last week that she had been with Jones the entire time. She said Jones assaulted her almost daily and limited her contact with the outside world.

She said he impregnated her and later beat her so severely that she miscarried. She told police where she buried the fetus, and authorities found the remains. She said she was also beaten just before her interview with authorities.

It’s unclear if Merchant-Jones has a lawyer.

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