House Where Cassidy Rainwater Was Held In A Cage Mysteriously Burns Down As Suspects Sit In Jail

Photo: Dallas County Sheriff's Department
Cassidy Rainwater, James Phelps, Timothy Norton

The house of one of the men charged with kidnapping Cassidy Rainwater has mysteriously burned down in the midst of an ongoing investigation.

James Phelps, 58, has been in jail since mid-September on a kidnapping charge after police discovered images of missing Missouri woman, Rainwater, in a cage on his phone. 

Now, investigators may have a hard time piecing together the case if crucial evidence has been lost in the balze

The crime scene in Cassidy Rainwater’s disappearance has burned down. 

The images of Rainwater were allegedly taken at the now-destroyed property on Moon Valley Road in Lebanon, Missouri.

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James Phelps' home was completely destroyed.

Little remains of the house after the Monday night blaze. Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire.

It has not yet been disclosed if it was destroyed by arson or in an accidental fire. 

A bomb squad was called out to the home.

A possible trip wire was discovered on the property and Springfield Fire Department's bomb squad detonated an explosive device near the area of the fire.

Cora Scott, spokeswoman for the city of Springfield, said she could not provide any additional information about the bomb squad's involvement, apart from that they responded at the request of the sheriff's office.

James Phelps is facing prosecution for Rainwater’s kidnapping.

Phelps remains in jail along with his co-defendant, Timothy Norton. 

Phelps was discovered to be the last person who saw Rainwater after she went missing on July 25. 

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Phelps reportedly told police that Rainwater had been living with him while she “got back on her feet,” but claimed she left in the middle of the night for Colorado and hadn’t returned. 

Meanwhile, Norton allegedly confessed that he had seen Rainwater in a cage at Phelps’ home.

He also reportedly told cops that on July 24, Phelps had asked him to him come to his house to help restrain Rainwater. 

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Norton also said he “physically confine[d]” Rainwater by “holding her down for a substantial period of time,” the News-Leader reported.

Rumors that Phelps and Norton had engaged in cannibalistic activities have circulated since their arrests.

However, police have yet to disclose if Rainwater’s remains have been discovered and the men are not facing any homicide charges. 

On Tuesday, the men appeared before a Dallas County judge via a webcam. Their attorneys did not request bond and preliminary hearing in the case has been set for November 5. 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.