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Investigators found incendiary device during fire at home at center of kidnapping case in Dallas County

House of Dallas County, Mo. man accused of kidnapping Cassidy Rainwater burns to the ground.
House of Dallas County, Mo. man accused of kidnapping Cassidy Rainwater burns to the ground.(KY3)
Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 11:31 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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NEAR LEBANON, Mo. (KY3) - In a Springfield Bomb Squad report, investigators say they found an incendiary device during a fire at the home at the center of a kidnapping case in Dallas County.

The home on Moon Valley Road between Lebanon and Buffalo caught fire on the evening of October 4. Sheriff Scott Rice said the home was a total loss. In the report, it claims investigators found the explosive device in a mortar tube with a balloon cover. It featured tripwires. The Springfield Bomb Squad removed the device. No firefighter was injured in battling the fire.

James Phelps, 58, had been renting the home. Phelps and Timothy Norton, 56, also of Lebanon, face charges of first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of Cassidy Rainwater.

Neighbors are concerned the investigation has brought many people to the area.

“I have many times both day and night seen people pulling into my driveway and they realize they are in the wrong place and turn around, this is happening at all hours,” said one neighbor who wished to remain anonymous.

One woman who owns a business on Moon Valley Road says she has security cameras and has noticed the increase in cars.

“We have seen a lot of increased traffic driving by going to the property. What is usually 20 or 30 cars has been 200 or 300 cars driving by,” said Katie Heflin

KY3 News first broke the news of the case in mid-September. FBI investigators contacted detectives in Dallas County saying they received photos from an anonymous person showing Rainwater in a cage. Investigators say a detective recognized Rainwater in a partially nude state. After searching Phelps’ phone, officials discovered seven photos of Rainwater. According to detectives, Rainwater had been staying with Phelps while she got on her feet. Investigators say Phelps claims she had left in the middle of the night at the end of July and he had not seen her since then.

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