2 Missouri Men Charged After Allegedly Kidnapping 33-Year-Old Woman and Keeping Her in a Cage

The FBI received an anonymous tip about photos that showed the woman being kept inside a cage

James Phelps; Timothy Norton
James Phelps and Timothy Norton. Photo: Dallas County Sheriff's Office (2)

Two Missouri men were arrested in connection to a missing woman whom they'd allegedly been holding in a cage, authorities say.

On Sept. 1, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office in Missouri issued details about a missing person, asking locals for help finding 33-year-old Cassidy Rainwater, who had last been seen on July 25. They had received a missing person report on Aug. 26.

Authorities then announced on Sept. 18 that an arrest had been made in the case after the sheriff's office "received information from the FBI leading them to a residence in the Windyville area of Dallas County." On the scene, 58-year-old James Phelps was arrested.

Three days later, another man, Timothy Norton, 56, was also arrested. Both were held without bond, the sheriff's department said in a statement.

According to WDAF, both Phelps and Norton were charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping, facilitating a felony, inflicting injury and terrorizing, a class B felony. Both are next due in court on Oct. 5. It was not immediately clear if Phelps and Norton have attorneys for PEOPLE to reach for comment.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Cassidy Rainwater
Cassidy Rainwater. Dallas County Sheriff's Office

Per court documents, obtained by WDAF, the FBI had received an anonymous tip about a photo that appeared to show Rainwater inside a cage. Authorities have not yet given an update on Rainwater's whereabouts or wellbeing.

Phelps told authorities, according to the documents, that Rainwater was staying at his place temporarily, but he claimed she left abruptly one night, catching a ride with an unknown vehicle. He reportedly claimed he hadn't heard from her since then.

After searching Phelps' phone, investigators found photos of Rainwater being kept inside a cage at his residence, WDAF reports. In a subsequent interview with authorities, Norton allegedly confessed to knowing she'd been in a cage there, and that he'd allegedly helped Phelps restrain the woman back on July 24.

Related Articles