Dallas County Sheriff's Office

Dallas County Sheriff’s Workplace

A weird saga in Missouri involving a lacking girl who was seen being held captive in a cage has taken a baffling flip as the home the place she was apparently stored burned to the bottom—instantly after authorities found it had been boobytrapped.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Workplace stated the hearth on the residence in Windyville, an unincorporated Ozarks neighborhood about 160 miles from Kansas Metropolis, occurred Monday evening, based on the Springfield Information-Chief

That’s greater than two months after 33-year-old Cassidy Rainwater was final seen on July 25. Police formally opened a case into her disappearance in late August, when a member of the family referred to as to report she had vanished.

The case then took a really darkish flip in mid-September, when the FBI was anonymously despatched pictures displaying Rainwater semi-nude and in a cage. The feds alerted native police to the tip and officers discovered seven related images on the telephone of James D. Phelps, who’s regarded as the final particular person to see Rainwater, the Kansas Metropolis Star studies. Phelps initially wound up on police radar two weeks earlier than the alarming photograph surfaced, when an investigator following a lead in Rainwater’s missing-persons case questioned him at his cabin. At the moment, based on court docket data, Phelps claimed Rainwater had been staying with him “till she may get again on her ft.”

Each Phelps and Timothy Norton, a trucker who had been residing on his property, are actually in custody. They’re charged with kidnapping Rainwater and inflicting damage and terrorizing, court docket data present. 

Police stated Norton admitted throughout questioning that he had helped restrain Rainwater, however his lawyer, Brandon Twibell, on Wednesday advised native media that his consumer denies all of the allegations. Phelps’ public defender has but to touch upon the fees.

The 2 suspects appeared through webcam on Tuesday earlier than a Dallas County decide, who set a preliminary listening to within the case for Nov. 5. 

In the meantime, Rainwater’s destiny—and her whereabouts—stay unknown. Police have largely stored no matter info they’ve concerning the case to themselves, citing the “excessive nature of the crime” in a Sept. 18 replace.

They’ve been equally tightlipped concerning the blaze that erupted at Phelps’ Windyville residence late Monday. Fireplace crews responding to the scene arrived to discover a tripwire and a “reside incendiary machine,” prompting the Springfield Fireplace Division’s bomb squad to scramble to the realm, the Star reported.

Bomb squad technicians detonated the machine early Tuesday. It was not instantly clear what prompted the hearth, and if it may have been sparked by an improvised machine.

The thriller surrounding the case has ballooned to such proportions that out-of-towners have reportedly begun visiting the realm the place Rainwater was caged up—it has apparently not been secured by investigators.

One man quoted by the Star who had pushed greater than an hour simply to have a look at the potential crime scene grimly famous that “these guys may have been pulling this off for years.”

One other onlooker, recognized by the newspaper as Brian Anthony, stated he expects the case to get even weirder.

“I believe that is going to be a blown-up large deal when it’s lastly performed. I believe when it’s all stated and performed, it’s going to blow folks’s minds.”

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