• West Virginia man charged with kidnapping, impregnating girl; causing her miscarriage

    By: Ann Smajstrla, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:
    FAIRMONT, W.Va. -

    A West Virginia man faces several charges after authorities say he kidnapped a girl, held her captive for months, impregnated her and kicked her in the stomach, causing her to miscarry.

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    Brian Merchant Jones, 20, is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and two counts of malicious assault, according to court documents.

    On March 28, Marion County Sheriff's Department detectives went to the Child Advocacy Center to interview a girl who had been missing since March 4, 2018, WBOY-TV reported. The girl said she had been with Jones the whole time she was missing, detectives said.

    The girl alleged that Jones was physically abusive toward her, saying he beat and choked her. She also said Jones limited her contact with the outside world.

    The girl said she became pregnant shortly after Jones abducted her, detectives said. She alleged that last fall, Jones kicked her in the stomach, and that she delivered a stillborn fetus a few hours later.

    She said she and Jones traveled to a home in Rivesville and buried the fetus there, detectives said. Deputies conducted a search of the area and found the remains, according to court documents. Jones is charged with murder in the death of the fetus.

    The girl told detectives “she believed severe physical harm would befall her if she attempted to leave,” according to court documents.

    No bail was set for Jones on the murder charge while the bail for his two malicious assault charges was set at $25,000 each, court records show. The bail for the kidnapping charge was set at $50,000.

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