Two men charged in Missouri after authorities receive photo of missing woman in cage

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Dallas deputies have arrested two men after receiving a photo of a missing woman in a cage. 

Cassidy Rainwater, 33, went missing in late July. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office charged James Phelps, 58, and Timothy Norton, 56, with her kidnapping after the FBI office in Kansas City anonymously received a photo of a partially nude Rainwater in a cage. 

Timothy Norton 56 years old from Lebanon, Mo was arrested on 09/21/2021 and charged with 1st degree kidnapping in connection with the missing person case of Cassidy Rainwater. the investigation lead to the arrest of  James Phelps, a 58 year old white male.
(Dallas County Missouri Sherriff’s Office)

“Due to the extreme nature of the crime and the continuation of the investigation, additional details cannot be released at this time,” the sheriff’s office said in a post announcing Phelps’ arrest.

Investigators had questioned Phelps after a missing person’s report was filed in August, as they determined he was the last known person to have contact with her. Phelps acknowledged that Rainwater had been staying with him while she got back on her feet, but that he hadn’t seen her since she left his property a month prior, FOX 4 KC reported. 

An examination of the loft area Rainwater had stayed in found it “stripped” and devoid of any personal belongings. 

The case remained at a standstill until the FBI received the anonymous photo. Norton came forward several days later, admitting that he helped Phelps “restrain” Rainwater and confirming that she was held in a cage. 

Investigators returned to Phelps’ home with a search warrant for his phone, on which they discovered seven photos of Rainwater locked in a cage in his home while partially nude, The Kansas City Star reported. 

Deputies took Phelps and Norton into custody on Sept. 16. The pair have been charged with kidnapping, along with charges of facilitating a felony, inflicting injury and terrorizing. 

The pair remain in jail while awaiting a second court appearance scheduled for Oct. 5.   

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