DALLAS COUNTY, Mo.- The home of alleged kidnapper James Phelps burned to the ground late Monday (10/4/21) 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 at the time of the fire, were charged with the kidnapping of Cassidy Rainwater. Rainwater was last seen in July and was reported missing in late August.
Court documents accused Phelps and Norton of holding Cassidy Rainwater in a cage on Moon Valley Road near Windyville, Missouri.
On Monday, October 4th, 2021 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.
Missouri fire officials ruled this a case of arson.
Both Phelps and Norton were later charged with murder in Rainwater’s death. See the latest updates on their court cases here.