KEY POINTS

  • The woman had been missing since late July
  • An anonymous tipster told police that a photo showed the missing woman being held in a cage in a partially nude state
  • Two men were arrested in connection with her disappearance and charged with kidnapping and terrorizing, among others

Two Missouri men have been arrested and charged with keeping a missing woman locked in a cage in a state of partial nudity on their property, court records show.

James Phelps, 58, and Timothy Norton, 56, were each charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping, facilitating a felony, inflicting injury and terrorizing, a class B felony, the Dallas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement

The sheriff's office was contacted by an FBI agent in Kansas City on Sept. 16 about an anonymous tip on 33-year-old Cassidy Rainwater, who had been missing since late July.

The tipster said a photo showed Rainwater, who has ties to Dallas, Laclede and Greene counties, being held in a cage in a partially nude state, according to court documents obtained by KTVI.

Rainwater was reported missing on Aug. 25 after not being seen or heard from for six weeks. The last person to have seen her was Phelps, according to court documents.

A detective spoke to Phelps at his home in Lebanon, Missouri, on Sept. 1. Phelps told the investigator that Rainwater had been staying with him until she could get back on her feet and that she talked about moving to Colorado, according to court documents.

Phelps claimed Rainwater left his home in the middle of the night about a month earlier and met someone in a vehicle at the end of his driveway. The investigator noticed that the loft on the property looked like it had been "stripped" and did not find any belongings of Rainwater there at the time, court documents show.

After receiving a search warrant for Phelps' cellphone, authorities found seven photos of Rainwater partially nude while being held in a cage on his property in Lebanon, according to the documents.

Norton, also of Lebanon, was then identified as being connected to the case.

Norton confessed that Rainwater was being held at Phelps' property and admitted to helping restrain the woman on July 24 at the other man's home, police said.

Both Phelps and Norton are being held without bond. Phelps is next due in court on Oct. 5. The other man is also due back in court next week.

Authorities have not released an update on Rainwater's whereabouts but said there's no ongoing danger to the public. They also declined to release additional details as the investigation is ongoing.

Rainwater's mother, Tracy Wahwassuck, also disappeared 14 years ago, KRCG reported. Wahwassuck's bones were found a year later scattered across a field near Lebanon. It remains an open case.

The Laclede County coroner believes that there is no link between Rainwater's disappearance and her mother's death.

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