Prosecutor: Duo hatched plan to kill before meeting victim
WILBER, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska duo charged with murder in the death of a woman one of them had just met on Tinder hatched a plan to kill somebody prior to the slaying, a prosecutor alleges in a court filing.
Bailey Boswell, 25, solicited young women through social media sites, and she and her housemate, 52-year-old Aubrey Trail, together picked out a victim, 24-year-old Sydney Loofe, assistant state Attorney General Sandra Allen contends in a motion filed Friday. The motion seeks to add a count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder to the charges against Trail.
Authorities say Boswell and Loofe went on a first date on Nov. 14, 2017, and made plans to go out again the next day. Loofe’s mother reported her missing that Nov. 16, and her dismembered body was found weeks later in a field about 90 miles (145 kilometers) away from Lincoln.
Trail and Boswell have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and the improper disposal of human remains, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for them. Trail’s trial is set to begin on June 17, while Boswell’s hasn’t been scheduled yet.
In her motion, Allen says Trail and Boswell decided to kill someone sometime after July 1, 2017. She alleges that Boswell searched social media for a victim and that she and Trail jointly selected Loofe. The motion also says the two recruited others to commit murder and bought materials used to kill and dismember Loofe and disposed of the remains.
Allen didn’t say who the defendants allegedly recruited and she didn’t reply to a call Tuesday seeking additional information. No other arrests connected to Loofe’s slaying have been announced.
Prosecutors do note in the court filing that the new conspiracy charge against Trail — along with the improper disposal of remains charge — would serve as an aggravating factor, which would support a sentence of death.
Suzanne Gage, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Doug Peterson, said she couldn’t comment about whether Boswell also will be charged with conspiracy or what was behind the allegation that Boswell and Trail recruited others.
One of Trail’s attorneys, Benjamin Murray, said he wasn’t certain about the allegation but that he thinks there’s some question “as to who exactly may have been present when (Loofe) died.”
Court records don’t show a similar motion filed in Boswell’s case, and it’s unclear whether one is likely. Boswell’s attorney, Todd Lancaster, declined to comment.
Trail told several news outlets after his arrest that Loofe’s death was accidental, though he didn’t elaborate.
Authorities say Trail and Boswell were captured on video at a Home Depot in Lincoln on Nov. 15, 2017, buying tools used to dismember Loofe, hours before Loofe’s death and while she was still at work.
Prosecutors allege that Trail told investigators he strangled Sydney Loofe with an extension cord. Investigators believe Boswell, who lived with Trail in Wilber, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Lincoln, helped Trail dismember Loofe and get rid of her remains.
Trail and Boswell were quickly named as people of interest in the case and were arrested in late November 2017 in Branson, Missouri, on unrelated fraud charges.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com