Two men charged in September with felony kidnapping have now been charged with murder in the missing persons case of Cassidy Rainwater, a Missouri woman who appeared caged and partially nude in photos sent to the FBI.
On Wednesday, the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department announced the murder charges against Timothy Norton, 56, and James Phelps, 58, in a statement on Facebook, and court documents reveal new disturbing details of the case. An amended criminal complaint shows the two men each still face a kidnapping charge as well as a felony count of abandonment of a corpse, saying they “knowingly disposed of the corpse of Cassidy Rainwater” at or near Phelps’ property without notifying authorities. Court documents reveal that beyond showing Rainwater in a cage, additional photos the FBI had shared with county detectives in September showed Rainwater’s body “bound to a gantry crane device (commonly used for processing wild game),” and depicted her “evisceration and dismemberment.” Authorities had also found what were confirmed by lab testing to be Rainwater’s remains packaged in a freezer and dated “7-24,” court documents said, and had discovered skeletal remains on the property that they believe to be Rainwater’s, as well. They allegedly recovered messages between Phelps and Norton planning Rainwater’s murder on Jul. 24.