Missing woman case; Sheriff speaks on rumors spread by crime bloggers in “their mommy and daddy’s basement eating great value cheese puffs and drinking box wine”

Joplin News First

DALLAS COUNTY, Mo. — The home of alleged kidnapper James Phelps burned to the ground late Monday night, October 4, and a bomb squad from Springfield was sent to investigate.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office say the residence caught fire around 10 p.m.. 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 have been in jail for two weeks. On Tuesday they each appeared in court for a criminal hearing with their respective court appointed public defenders.

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 in rural Dallas County.

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.

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.

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

Late Thursday night, October 7, the Dallas County Sheriff Scott Rice, whom has not commented much on the case released a statement chastising internet trolls and crime bloggers who are speculating on the case. 

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