Home of alleged kidnapper burned to ground in southwest Missouri

Missouri

DALLAS COUNTY, Mo.- The home of alleged kidnapper James Phelps burned to the ground late Monday night, and a bomb squad from Springfield was sent to investigate.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed with OzarksFirst around 10 p.m., the home caught fire Monday. Fire crews from multiple stations were working to put out hotspots. At one point, a Dallas County deputy found something that resembled a tripwire; that’s when the Springfield bomb squad was sent to investigate.

The bomb squad arrived around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday and shortly after, they detonated an explosive device near the area of the fire.

Phelps and Timothy Norton are scheduled to appear in court Tuesday for a criminal hearing.

The two were arrested in September and charged with the kidnapping of Cassidy Rainwater. Rainwater was last seen in July and was reported missing in late August.

Court documents accuse Phelps and Norton of holding Cassidy Rainwater in a cage on Moon Valley Road near Windyville, Missouri.

On Monday, October 4th, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Facebook stating that the FBI has recovered several items that will be used to further the investigation.

Both Phelps and Norton were scheduled for an arraignment on September 28th, but the hearing was postponed until the two could be assigned public defenders.

James D. Phelps (L) and Timothy Norton (R) (Photos: Dallas County Sheriff’s Office)

Norton’s public defender filed a motion for discovery in the case on September 30th. Phelps’ public defender filed the same motion on October 1st.

Judge Lisa Henderson will see Phelps at 11:00 a.m. at the Dallas County Courthouse. Norton’s hearing is scheduled for later that day at 1:30 p.m.

Very few details on this case have been released by the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, including whether Cassidy Rainwater has been found.

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