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Dallas County deputies arrest second man connected to the disappearance of Cassidy Rainwater

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:13 PM CDT
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BUFFALO, Mo. (KY3) - The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of a second man wanted in the kidnapping of Cassidy Rainwater.

Timothy Norton, 56, of Lebanon, Mo. faces a charge of first-degree kidnapping. A judge ordered him held without bond.

The FBI passed along information last week leading to the arrest of James Phelps, 58, at a home near the town of Windyville, Missouri. He too faces kidnapping charges and is being held without bond.

The FBI and Dallas County Sheriff’s Office spent Wednesday at Phelps’ home.

A woman who knows everyone involved tell us that she can’t wrap her head around all of this.

“I’ve been incredibly unsettled since the whole Menagerie started,” she said.

She asked us to conceal her identity.

The woman lives near Phelps and says she’s known him for years.

“To find that he was in he he’s possibly engaged in a crime is alarming to say the least,” she explained.

She says she also has had encounters with Timothy Norton.

“They both seemed on a seedy side of things,” said the neighbor.

She recalls Rainwater as being friendly.

“I’ve known Cassidy for, you know, in intermittently, she would stop by she would talk to us when we were outside working. I don’t think Cassidy would have ever run off without keeping contact with her family,” she said.

We tried to obtain additional information from law enforcement at the crime scene Wednesday but were quickly turned away.

A few weeks ago, the FBI contacted detectives in Dallas County saying they received photos from an anonymous person showing Cassidy Rainwater in a cage. Investigators say a detective recognized Rainwater in a partially nude state. After searching Phelps’ phone, officials discovered seven photos of Rainwater.

According to detectives, Rainwater had been staying with Phelps while she got on her feet. Investigators say Phelps claims she had left in the middle of the night one night at the end of July and he had not seen her since then.

The neighbor said, “I’ve cried a lot thinking, how do you warn somebody?”

Authorities have not confirmed if Rainwater has been found.

“I’m continuing to pray for her family. This is beyond understanding and a lot of ways and I can’t fathom what her families experiencing and I’m heartily sorry that that happened so close to my home,” said the neighbor.

More charges could be announced soon.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office and Dallas County Prosecutor are working with the FBI and a Greene County Crime Scene Unit in the investigation.

It’s unclear when they’ll wrap up their search of the home.

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