Authorities arrested two Missouri Men after they allegedly kidnapped and kept a missing woman locked in a cage partially naked.
Both defendants, Timothy L. Norton, 56, and James D. Phelps, 58, face counts of first-degree kidnapping, terrorizing, inflicting injury, and facilitating a felony Fox 4 reported. Both men are being held without bail, the outlet reports.
Cassidy Rainwater, 33, was reported missing on August 25 after a family member called the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office of Missouri and informed law enforcement that they had neither heard from nor seen Rainwater, according to KY3.
Phelps was the last person to see Rainwater, and investigators spoke with him regarding the case on September 1, according to Fox 4. Phelps said Rainwater was staying at his place while she was going through some trying times. He explained that she left in the middle of the night and got into a car at the end of the driveway. He told investigators that she had been talking about leaving for Colorado, according to Fox 4. Phelps informed investigators that the last time he saw her was on July 25, KY3 reports.
An FBI agent contacted the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office on September 16 regarding an anonymous tip the agent received on the whereabouts of Rainwater, a Facebook post from the sheriff’s office states. The individual who reported the information told the FBI agent of a photograph that showed Rainwater partially nude and locked in a cage, according to Fox 4.
Authorities were able to secure a warrant to analyze Phelps’s phone on September 16. They discovered seven images of Rainwater partially nude and locked in a cage at Phelps’s Lebanon property located on Moon Valley Road, according to Fox 4. Phelps was arrested on scene, a Facebook post from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office states.
Authorities then identified Timothy Norton as a suspect in the case. Law enforcement met with Norton on September 19, where he said he is an over-the-road truck driver and lives in his truck cab, according to Fox 4. Officers found inconsistencies in Norton’s story and questioned him again on September 20. Upon further questioning, he admitted knowing Rainwater was locked in a cage and confessed to helping Phelps restrain the victim at Phelps’s home in July, according to Fox 4.
Both men appeared in court on September 28, according to Fox 4. Phelps has been assigned a public attorney, while Norton appeared in a virtual hearing without a lawyer. The two await their next court date on October 5, Fox 4 reports.
Authorities state that the two defendants are expected to be hit with additional charges soon. “Additional charges are expected in the coming days,” the Facebook post from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office explained. “Due to the extreme nature of the crime and the continuation of the investigation, additional details cannot be released at this time. There is no immediate danger to the public,” the sheriff’s office stated.