Missouri men accused of keeping missing woman in cage: records


A pair of Missouri creeps have been charged with keeping a half-naked, missing woman in a locked cage on their property, court records show.

James Phelps, 58, and Timothy Norton, 56, were charged with first-degree kidnapping after the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office got a tip from the FBI on Cassidy Rainwater, a 33-year-old woman who had been missing since late July, sheriff officials said.

Court documents obtained by KTVI show that a tipster said a photo showed Rainwater, who has ties to Dallas, Laclede, and Greene counties, being held captive while partially nude.

The last known person to have seen Rainwater was Phelps, according to court documents. Sheriff officials said earlier this month that additional charges were expected against Phelps while saying there was “no immediate danger” to the public.

A detective met Phelps at his Lebanon home on Sept. 1, telling the investigator that Rainwater had been staying with him until she gets her life together and moved to Colorado, court documents show.

Timothy Norton
Timothy Norton confessed that Cassidy Rainwater was being held at James Phelps’ property, and that he had a role in keeping her there.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office

Phelps claimed Rainwater left his home in the middle of the night about a month earlier and met someone in a vehicle at the end of his driveway. But the detective noticed a loft on the property had been “stripped” and Rainwater’s belongings were not there, court documents show.

After getting a search warrant for Phelps’ cellphone, investigators found seven photos of Rainwater partially nude while being held in a cage on his property in Lebanon, KTVI reported.

Cassidy Rainwater
Investigators found seven photos of Cassidy Rainwater partially nude while being held in a cage on James Phelps’ property in Lebanon.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Office

Detectives then identified Norton, also of Lebanon, as being connected to the case and he confessed that Rainwater was being held at Phelps’ property. He admitted to helping restrain the woman on July 24 at Phelps’ home, court records show.

Both Phelps and Norton are being held without bond. Phelps’ public defender did not return a request for comment Tuesday, KTVI reported. He’s next due in court on Oct. 5.

Norton, who appeared in court Tuesday without an attorney, is also due back in court next week. Both men have been charged with kidnapping, facilitating a felony, inflicting injury and terrorizing, court records show.

Sheriff officials have not released on update on Rainwater’s whereabouts, but have said there’s no ongoing danger to the public.

“Due to the extreme nature of the crime and the continuation of the investigation, additional details cannot be released at this time,” the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said on Sept. 18.



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