ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- A man was arrested on multiple charges in a kidnapping of a 20-year-old pregnant woman Wednesday night.
St. Charles County prosecutors on Thursday charged Ronnie W. Howard with first-degree kidnapping, domestic assault, unlawful use of a weapon, resisting arrest and unlawful use of a weapon.
On Wednesday, police reported a 20-year-old pregnant woman was being held against her will by Howard at an apartment on the 2500 block of Sequoia in St. Peters.
A family member of the woman called police and told them the victim's front tooth was chipped and her face was scratched when they saw her via FaceTime call. She told her family member that Howard would not let her leave her apartment and had been physically assaulted by him.
She said Howard had forced her to drink a combination of toilet water with cleaning chemicals in the bathroom of her apartment. Howard and the victim are known to each other, police said, and this was not a random incident.
The victim told police that Howard had repeatedly punched her in the stomach, held a gun to her stomach and head and told her he would kill her if she told anyone. She also said he hid her phone from her and could not call for help.
Officers pinged the victim's phone and it led them to the Walmart on Jungermann Road.
Several bystanders told police they saw Howard running north from Walmart after seeing police in the area.
He was arrested near Walmart and the victim was taken to the hospital for her injuries.
While at the hospital, the victim told police Howard had abused her for months and she was terrified of him.
Howard denied owning a gun and abusing the woman to police. He said he was in an argument with the woman's dad over the phone and her dad was the who who threatened his life for dating his daughter.
He said after the argument he and the woman went to Walmart to buy things for the baby and that the victim's family members made up the story about making her drink bleach and toilet water.
Police searched the apartment and found a gun in a dresser drawer and the cleaning chemicals in the toilet water.
According to court documents, Howard has a lengthy criminal history in a different state including kidnapping, assault by strangulation, assault with a deadly weapon and stealing a car.