LINCOLN — More than six months after the body of Lincoln store clerk Sydney Loofe was found in a remote farming area, murder charges were filed Monday against two long-time “persons of interest” in the case.
Charges of first-degree murder and improper disposal of human skeletal remains were filed late Monday in Saline County Court against both Aubrey Trail and Bailey Boswell, a pair that had moved to Wilber, where they were dealing in antiques and rare coins.
The pair had been persons of interest ever since Loofe disappeared, and Trail, 53, had admitted in January that he was responsible for the death of Loofe. But the FBI and local officials had said over the past few months that they were still investigating — an investigation that concluded Monday with formal charges.
Loofe, a 24-year-old Menard’s clerk from Lincoln, disappeared Nov. 16 after arranging a date via the Internet with Boswell. Trail and the 23-year-old Boswell — whom Trail described as his girlfriend — soon went on Facebook to deny involvement.
But after weeks of searches, Loofe’s body was found near Edgar, Nebraska, on Dec. 4.
In phone calls to The World-Herald and other media in late January, Trail claimed responsibility for Loofe’s death but has said it was an accident.
Trail, whose criminal record includes two stints in Nebraska prisons for forgery and bad checks, also said then that he’s ready to die for what he did.
“A life for a life — that’s the rules in my world,” he said at the time. “I should be put to death.”
Trail first told The World-Herald that he was responsible for Loofe’s death and then in a later phone call said that she died just after the Nov. 16 date with Boswell.
Trail said that Loofe, a native of Neligh, Nebraska, died of suffocation.
“It happened in Saline County,” Trail said. Trail and Boswell had been living in a rented downstairs apartment near Wilber-Clatonia High School.
Trail claimed that Loofe was a willing participant in a sexual fantasy with himself and at least two other women in a room but that Boswell was wiped out on drugs and outside of the room when Loofe died.
There was something around Loofe’s neck when she died, according to Trail.
“It wasn’t supposed to go to the extreme it went, of course not,” he said. “It wasn’t meant that she was to die.”
That story clearly did not wash with investigators because Trail and Boswell were charged with premeditated murder, and not an accidental death.
The exact allegations against Trail and Boswell were under seal until Tuesday. And a spokeswoman with the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, which was appointed a special prosecutor in the case, did not respond to other questions.
Trail and Boswell were scheduled to make their first appearance in Saline County Court on Tuesday at 11 a.m. The pair have been in jail since November, when they were arrested on suspicion of defrauding a Kansas couple out of $375,000 in a scheme to buy a rare coin overseas. Trail and Boswell pleaded guilty to those federal charges and are awaiting sentencing.
Loofe’s parents, George and Susie Loofe, who have not spoken to the media since their daughter disappeared, declined to comment Monday evening through a reporter with their hometown Antelope County News.
Jeri Anderson, a former Neligh mayor, said Monday evening that the ordeal has been devastating to the family and the community.
“They need closure,” Anderson said of the Loofe family. “And (Trail and Boswell) need to be held accountable.”
“I’m glad something is coming and they don’t have to wait any longer,” Anderson added.
Recently, a memorial scholarship was established in the name of Sydney Loofe, who graduated from Neligh-Oakdale High School, by the Set Me Free Project, an Omaha-based nonprofit that seeks to educate youth about the dangers of human trafficking.
The Ponca Tribe of Nebraska also dedicated a memorial bench in her honor along the Elkhorn River in a Neligh city park that was a favorite of Sydney Loofe.
On the “Celebrating Sydney Loofe” Facebook page established by her parents, they wrote that their daughter felt lonely despite seemingly having many friends.
“She was looking for that one special person with whom she could spend time,” the parents wrote. “She took to Tinder to look for that person and unfortunately, found someone that had nothing but evil plans for her.”