Sunday, May 27th, 2018. Springfield, MA. A squad car notices a car pass him late in the evening with one of it’s tail lights out. The officer attempts to pull over the vehicle but fails to do so and a brief pursuit ensues. The chase ends quickly. A forty-year-old man, Stewart Weldon, attempts to flee but is soon apprehended. Once in custody, a woman was found in his car terrified. She claimed the individual had held her, against her will, for the past month in his home while beating her and sexually assaulting her. The home was on Page Blvd. Weldon was soon arrested. Disturbing details would emerge just a few days later when a call would be made from the home on Page Blvd. A woman was complaining of a foul odor coming from the back yard.
Investigators would soon arrive and on May 31st, an announcement would be made that would shock the community. The bodies of 3 women were found throughout the property. All 3 women were mothers, and reported missing. The women were 47-year-old Ernestine Ryans, 34-year-old America Lyden, and 27-year-old Kayla Escalante. The last of which was discovered on her birthday. All 3 were found to have been assaulted after an autopsy was performed but a cause of death has not yet been released.
America Lyden was the first women to be reported missing on December 1st, 2017. Her family was concerned but the case quickly grew cold as there were not many leads to follow up on. The next victim was Ernestine Ryans who was reported missing on March 18th, 2018 by a friend. Similar to the previous account, no leads were had. Kayla Escalante was the most recent victim to be abducted in May.
It would later be revealed the Weldon had a history of abusing women, multiple reports of rape were made against him. He has also been arrested a number of times over the years for a number of different reasons. He has been tied to 2 events through DNA, one from 2009 and one from 2017. In the 2017 case, a woman claimed to have been picked up by Weldon, tied up and raped repeatedly. When reporting her crime to her local police, she was told they were unable to file a report because the crime was committed in the next town. The woman claimed she would file the report on her own but never did until she saw Weldon on the news.
In February of 2018 Weldon was supposed to be wearing an ankle monitor as per the courts ruling over previous charges and initially he complied. Eventually he would cut off his ankle monitor and when attempting to check in on the suspect, authorities found he was gone. Despite him still living on Page, authorities were always one step behind. They checked a number of times, but Weldon appeared elusive. One neighbor described him
Weldon faces a mountain of charges, totaling 52 as of now. During the suspect’s first court appearance he maintained his innocence and plans to plead not guilty.