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Photo of Missing Woman, Partially Nude and Locked in a Cage, Leads to Arrests

Investigators in Missouri have arrested two men in connection with the disappearance of a woman last seen in late July, but 33-year-old Cassidy Rainwater remains missing.

A photo given to the FBI by an anonymous tipster last month showed Rainwater — in a cage in a “partially nude state” — and led to the arrests, the Kansas City Star reported.

Rainwater was reported missing on August 26, and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office released a photo of her on September 1, asking for help finding her. Shortly afterward, investigators learned that Rainwater had been in contact with James Phelps, 58, before she disappeared.

Phelps told detectives the missing woman had been staying at his home “until she could get back on her feet,” court documents said, but she left in August in the middle of the night, getting into a vehicle that stopped for her at the end of his driveway. She had mentioned going to Colorado, he said.

Phelps showed a deputy around his property, including the loft where he said she stayed while she was there.

Then, when investigators received the photo, they went back to Phelps, who told them the same story he had before. But the sheriff’s office had a search warrant for Phelps’s phone, where they found seven photographs of Rainwater, in a cage at his home and partially nude, according to the court documents.

The court documents also say deputies later arrested Timothy Norton, 56, although they did not say what led them to investigate Norton. The documents say Norton told detectives he helped “restrain” Rainwater on July 24 and that he knew she was kept in a cage.

“Norton then admitted that after arriving at Phelps’ home he did physically confine (Rainwater) by holding her down for a substantial period of time for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a felony or inflicting physical injury on or terrorizing (her),” a probable cause affidavit said.

The affidavit did not explain what felony was committed or what injury Rainwater suffered.

Phelps and Norton have been charged with kidnapping, facilitating a felony, inflicting injury, and terrorizing, court records say.

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[Featured image: Cassidy Rainwater/Dallas County Sheriff’s Office]