House of Dallas County, Mo. man accused of kidnapping Cassidy Rainwater burns to the ground

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2021 at 7:54 AM CDT
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NEAR LEBANON, Mo. (KY3) - The Dallas County sheriff says the home of a man jailed in the kidnapping of Cassidy Rainwater burned to the ground Monday night.

Sheriff Scott Rice says the home near Lebanon is a total loss. The state’s fire marshal’s office will investigate. The Springfield Fire Department Bomb Squad detonated a suspicious device at the scene.

James Phelps, 58, had been renting the home. He and Timothy Norton, 56, also of Lebanon each face charges of first-degree kidnapping in Rainwater’s disappearance. Both are scheduled to appear before a judge on Tuesday.

In September, the FBI investigators contacted detectives in Dallas County saying they received photos from an anonymous person showing 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 at the end of July and he had not seen her since then.

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