A Woman in Missouri Was Locked in a Cage, Killed, and Her Body Parts Were Cut Up. Police Only Found Out About Her After Getting Pictures of Her

A Woman in Missouri Was Locked in a Cage, Killed, and Her Body Parts Were Cut Up. Police Only Found Out About Her After Getting Pictures of Her

Photos sent in anonymously were what told the police about Cassidy Rainwater’s horrible death. They showed her partly naked and locked in a cage.

According to a probable cause statement shared by OzarksFirst.com and read by PEOPLE, Rainwater was last seen by a friend in the Lebanon, Missouri, area in August 2021 and reported missing. The friend hadn’t seen her in six weeks.

Police said the friend told them that Rainwater had last been seen with a guy who turned out to be James Phelps. It was September 1, and the cops talked to Phelps. He told them that Rainwater had been staying with him until she could get back on her feet. He also said she had left for Colorado in the middle of the night about a month before.

It became public two weeks later that the FBI had gotten a tip with a set of photos labeled “Cassidy,” as reported by PEOPLE.

Police said it was “immediately clear” that the woman in the pictures was Rainwater. She was locked up in a cage. More pictures showed Cassidy’s body being tied to a gantry crane that is usually used for hunting while it was being cut up.

The probable cause statement says that on September 16, police in Lebanon arrested Phelps and searched his home. Later, Rainwater’s body parts were found on a farm next door.

The probable cause statement says that after searching Phelps’ electronics, including his cell phone, they found texts he sent and received with another man, Timothy Norton, in which they talked about their plans to kill Rainwater on July 24.

When police talked to Norton, he admitted to killing Rainwater and said that Phelps had told him to do it. It was said that Norton told them that Rainwater had been sleeping on the floor of Phelps’ cabin when they struck her, put a bag over her head, and strangled her to death. Next, Norton talked about how he helped Phelps cut up her dead body.

Because Rainwater was killed so badly, both Norton and Phelps were charged with first-degree murder. In April 2023, Phelps took an Alford plea, which meant he agreed that there was enough evidence to convict him but didn’t actually say he was guilty. According to court records, he was given a sentence of life in jail without the chance of parole.

Norton admitted to killing someone in the first degree in June 2023 and got the same term as Phelps. The police have not said why the murder happened.

Norton was talked to by KY3 after he pleaded guilty. He told the news source, “I deserve to die, and I’m ready for that.”

In 2021, KCTV talked to Rainwater’s child’s father.

The man, who only gave his name as Ben, told the news source, “I always worried about her because of her past.” “She was having a bad time.” I told her, “You know, come to Kansas City,” after we talked. We’re going to figure it out. She wanted to fix her problems.

Source: PEOPLE

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