The body of a 24-year-old Nebraska woman who had been missing for nearly three weeks was located by authorities.
Sydney Loofe, of Lincoln, had not been seen since telling friends she was going on a Tinder date. She was reported missing November 16 after she told those close to her she was going out on a date with a person she met online the night prior.
After more than two weeks of searching, on December 4, Loofe’s family shared a post on a Facebook page which said her body had been located. Authorities blocked off access in Clay Center, a rural town 90 miles west-southwest of Lincoln, where her body was located. Investigators said they suspect foul play in her death, and several officers were seen December 5 with flags looking for evidence in cornfields.
Police had launched a full search and investigation into her disappearance and named Aubrey C. Trail, 51, and Bailey M. Boswell, 23, as persons of interest last week.
Hours after the pair were named “persons of interest” in the investigation, they released several videos documenting their side of the story. Both expressed their sympathy to the Loofe family but said they had nothing to do with her disappearance. In one of the videos, Boswell said she was the woman who Loofe met through Tinder.
Trail has a long criminal past which includes prison sentences in numerous states. He and Boswell appeared to have been captured by surveillance cameras at a casino together in photos that were released by authorities.
Police said Trail and Boswell haven’t been charged in Loofe’s death, but they remain as persons of interest.
Here’s what you need to know about Trail, Boswell, Loofe and the investigation:
1. Loofe’s Last-Known Interaction Was a Snapchat Message Saying She Was Going on a Tinder Date
Loofe was reported missing after she missed a shift at work. She worked at a Menards home improvement store in north Lincoln, and it was unusual for her to miss work, especially without any notice. Her last known interaction was a Snapchat message indicating she was going on a date with someone who she met online, her parents told police. Loofe was last seen in Wilber, which is about 40 miles southwest of Lincoln, on November 15.
“My other daughter’s birthday was on (November 15) and Sydney texted her happy birthday,” Loofe’s mother, Susie, told the Huffington Post. “Later that evening, she shared a picture of herself, saying, ‘Ready for my date.'”
In the days that have followed, Loofe’s cell phone pinged a tower in the Wilber area but has since been shut off, police said. She rented a duplex in Loncoln, where her vehicle still sits in the driveway. Susie told the HuffPo that she assumes her daughter left the apartment with the person she intended on going on a date with and said she fears she was kidnapped.
“We feel it is an abduction — possible trafficking,” Loofe’s mother told the Huffington Post, adding that investigators have been tight-lipped on details. “But that’s how the family feels and not necessarily how the police department feels.”
KETV News reported that a friend said Loofes told her through text messages that she was planning on going out on a date with the same woman she went out with the previous night.
“She texted me and told me about the date she had (and) how great it went,” Terra Gehring told the news outlet. “She was excited to go on another date with her again (the night she went missing).”
Friends and family members held a candlelight vigil in honor of Loofe on November 22, with about a dozen people gathering outside of a church in Wilber. They held hands, lit candles and prayed that Loofe would return home safely.
“This morning I woke up and thought, ‘It’s time to do something,'” Wilber resident Eileen Campbell told KLKN-TV. “This community wants to rally around this, and so I just made a phone call and the ball started rolling from there.”
2. Trail & Boswell Were Named People of Interest by Police Nearly 2 Weeks Later
Police announced new details in Loofe’s disappearance November 28, nearly two weeks after she was first reported missing. Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said they were seeking Trail and Boswell, but didn’t specify how they were related to the case. A police news release indicated that the pair were “persons of interest identified during the investigation.”
“Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail are two people that we need to speak with, and (we) believe they have additional information concerning Sydney’s whereabouts,” Bliemeister told reporters at a press briefing November 28.
Trail is described as being 6-feet tall and about 284 pounds. Boswell is 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds, police said in a news release.
While it’s unclear the connection of the three people, photos released by police appear to show Trail and Boswell in surveillance footage inside some sort of business. The carpets in both photos appear to match.
While it’s unconfirmed, one Twitter user matched the carpets in the photos and said it’s at Ameristar Casino.
Trail & Boswell Were Arrested in Missouri
The pair were both officially in custody in Missouri on November 30, with both their mugshots appearing on the Taney County Jail’s website. They were arrested on warrants unrelated to Loofe’s disappearance.
Trail and Boswell were booked into jail and held on no bond with a federal hold. The FBI said it was still interviewing Trail and Boswell in Loofe’s disappearance, and there was no immediate word if they were cooperating.
The Lincoln Journal-Star reported that Trail and Boswell have since been transferred from the Missouri jail to another agency.
3. Trail & Boswell Appeared in a Video Offering Their Side of Loofe’s Disappearance
Hours after they were named persons of interest by investigators, Trail and Boswell appeared to have published a video offering their side of Loofe’s disappearance. In the video, the woman claiming to be Boswell confirms that she met Loofe through Tinder, saying that she often used the name “Audrey” on the mobile application.
Boswell said that she met Loofe “on a Tuesday,” and she picked her up from her home. After doing so, Boswell said the pair drove around Lincoln, smoking weed before she dropped her back off at her house. She added that the next night, November 15, she picked up Loofe again, doing much of the same. This time, though, they went to Boswell’s home, where they smoked more marijuana and she provided Loofe a 1/4-ounce of it, she claims.
“I went to take her home and she asked me to drop her off at a friends house, so I did so,” Boswell said in the video. “I gave her my number, we were planning on going to the casino that weekend. I haven’t heard from her since. I just, I really don’t even know what else to say.”
Boswell said she feels sorry for Loofe’s family, adding that she “didn’t have anything to do with” her disappearance.
“I hope that Sydney is found very soon, she is a sweet, amazing girl,” she said.
Trail said in the video that he’s also offering his support and prayers to the Loofe family.
“I pray for Sydney, I hope she’s found soon,” he said in the video. “I wish the family the best, I’m sorry that she wasn’t with you on Thanksgiving.”
The point of filming the video, which appeared to take place in a vehicle of some sort, was to set the record straight and let the public know they’ve been cooperating with police, they said. Both Trail and Boswell indicate that their lives have been destroyed because of media reports, which happened because of the way authorities are handling the case and revealing details, they said.
Trail said that the Lincoln Police Department wants people to believe that they haven’t spoken to them, but they did indeed get interviewed by police early in their investigation. He claims that they both wrote “long statements” alongside their attorney which they sent to the Lincoln Police Department, “telling them everything we know.”
Trail said that the day before Thanksgiving, November 22, they called police after they found out they were trying to contact them.
“We were told to quit blowing up their phone, even though we told them, ‘Hey, do you understand you’re the people you’re looking for?” Trail said, indicating that police said they’d get back to them.
Police have been seen investigating multiple leads in the case, especially in Wilber. Trail said police knew to check the area because he and Boswell provided them the information.
“We were at our house four days ago, no one showed up,” Trail said. “We’ve been to Wilber (where Loofe was last seen), we had a young lady with us for a week, which is Bailey’s sometimes girlfriend. Omaha Police started calling her phone, telling her pretty much that she’s in danger with us, so we took her home the day before Thanksgiving. You’ve already crucified us in the newspapers, you’ve already crucified us on Facebook. In America, I sure thought it was a trial first, but I guess not.”
The video ends with Trail and Boswell sticking up their middle fingers and saying, “F**k you,” to police.
They also released another video after the first, in which Boswell said that they “pretty much decided to turn ourselves in because we’ve pretty much been convicted anyway.”
4. Trail Has a Long Criminal Past & Was Sentenced to Prison for Issuing Bad Checks
Trail has a long criminal past that spans several states. In Iowa, Trail was arrested and charged with theft of the third degree in 1999 and had additional run-ins with the law in relation to theft. He was once arrested and charged with second-degree theft and sentenced to serve a 5-year prison sentence. He also has a number of traffic citations in Missouri.
In 2010, Trail was sentenced to a 4-years in prison in Missouri for passing multiple bad checks. He was also placed on unsupervised probation for two years and ordered to pay a $750 fine. He owed $1,560 in restitution to Lekin Auction Company for writing a check with a closed bank account.
An article by The Toledo Chronicle said that Trail had addresses of Falls City, Nebraska and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. His last-known address, according to public records, is in Wilber, Nebraska, the town where Loofe was last seen.
The Lincoln Journal Star reported that authorities were seen searching for clues near the home on November 26, two days before they named Trail a person of interest.
“Investigators received and followed up on information that Sydney was in the Wilber, Nebraska, area,” Lincoln Police Officer Angela Sands wrote in a press release.
In the recently-released video with Boswell, Trail admitted that his criminal history is accurate.
“You’ve heard all this stuff about my criminal history, all true,” Trail said during the video. “I’ve been convicted of bad checks, forgery and all that good stuff. But I’ve never been convicted in anything like … I guess I’m a person of interest now.”
5. A Massive Search Effort is Underway to Find Loofe
A massive search effort has been underway ever since Loofe was reported missing November 16. A social media campaign to help find Loofe was launched, with the Facebook page “Finding Sydney Loofe” having nearly 15,000 followers as tips and leads into her disappearance being encouraged.
Police released a description of Loofe to help locate her, noting that she has blonde hair and multiple tattoos. She has a yin-yang tattoo on one of her forearms and the word “Believe” with a cross inside on her left wrist. The phrase, “Everything will be wonderful someday,” is tattooed on her right bicep. Loofe stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a white Columbia jacket an a cream-colored T-shirt underneath.
Loofe’s father, George Loofe, is the principal at Neligh-Oakdale High School, where she graduated in 2011. Her mother, Susie Loofe, is a teacher in the district.
Loofe’s mother, Susie, started a funding campaign on FreeFunder to raise money to assist in the search.
“We are asking for help in bringing Sydney home,” the mother writes on the funding page. “If you feel compelled to help find our daughter, consider donating to help us fund the search further. We appreciate all of the support we have received so far.”
Susie said that “every penny we raise will go directly to the search for Sydney.” Any leftover funds will be donated to an organization which helps in finding missing people. In five days, the campaign raised over $3,000 toward its $30,000 goal.