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Incendiary devices at home of suspect in missing woman case

October 12, 2021 GMT

WINDYVIILLE, Mo. (AP) — Investigators found two incendiary devices at the southwest Missouri home of a suspect in the disappearance of a woman who reportedly was held in a cage at the house, Springfield fire officials said.

The house near Windyville, an unincorporated community in Dallas County, burned to the ground on Oct. 4.

James Phelps, 58, was renting the home. He and Timothy Norton, 56, have been jailed since September on first-degree kidnapping charges in the disappearance of Cassidy Rainwater, who has not been seen since July.

Investigators found photos of Rainwater, nearly naked and apparently locked in a cage, on one of the men’s phones, according to court documents.

When he was interviewed in August, Phelps told police that Rainwater had stayed at the property but left in the middle of the night, possibly to go to Colorado.

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At the fire, investigators found two devices made of mortar tubes and balloons, with trip wires, according to a report from the Springfield fire department. The department’s bomb squad removed the devices, The Springfield News-Leader reported.