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Woman’s flesh found in freezer, says police chief

Woman’s flesh found in freezer, says police chief
Sherrif had raged against ‘fake news’ posted by ‘cheeese puff’ eaters ahead of murder charges

Details about the death of a 33-year-old woman whose remains were discovered in a freezer have been revealed, a month after authorities asked online sleuths to stop speculating about her disappearance.

According to authorities in Missouri, Cassidy Rainwater went missing in late July and was kidnapped and allegedly caged by two men who were charged for her murder on Wednesday.

Dallas County authorities said James Phelps and Timothy Norton kidnapped Ms Rainwater around the time of her disappearance, allegedly forcing her into a cage.

Photos from FBI investigators that were included in court documents on Wednesday also showed her dismembered and semi-naked body that was allegedly strapped into a device.

Police had found her remains in a freezer in September, and according to reports, in containers that were labelled with the date “7/24”, and which later matched DNA for Ms Rainwater.

Remains discovered in an adjacent backyard were also found to be from Ms Rainwater after investigation work in September, as did the FBI find messages between the pair appearing to plan her death.

Mr Phelps and Mr Norton, who are due to appear in court, had already been charged with kidnapping before being issued with higher charges on Wednesday.

Mr Norton will reportedly plead not guilty and appear in court on Friday, after admitting that he strangled Ms Rainwater, according to Fox4.

James Phelps

It remains unclear if Mr Phelps, who is due in court next week, has a lawyer.

Rumours about what happened to Ms Rainwater forced Scott Rice, the Dallas County sheriff, to decry what he called “Fake News” on Facebook in October.

He wrote: “While I understand the impatience and curiosity of the people, I’m going to give you a piece of advice. It is not a good idea to listen to ‘a crime reporter/blogger’ or Tik Tok videos”.

Timothy Norton

Admonishing true crime fans who were “sitting in their apartment or their mommy and daddy’s basement eating Great Value cheese puffs and drinking box wine,” he went on to say that the public should stop “hanging on very word is this type of crap”.

The remarks followed a fire at the home of Mr Phelps in October, with investigators finding tripwires at the property.

Authorities have said there is no reason to believe that there are other victims associated with Mr Phelps and Mr Norton, and that the investigation is ongoing.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.