Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish confirmed Wednesday that human remains have been found at a farm in Braymer, Missouri, that has been central to the ongoing death investigation involving two missing Wisconsin men.
Law enforcement has been searching various sites in Caldwell and Clinton counties for 10 days since Nicholas and Justin Diemel, brothers who were in town on business related to their Wisconsin-based livestock company, were reported missing.
The news conference Wednesday took place at Stage Coach Park in Polo, Missouri. Fish said the remains, which were found Tuesday, haven't been identified and couldn't confirm they belonged to the Diemel brothers. The cause of death has not been determined, he said.
"Investigators are still working with Frontier Forensics doctors to determine what took place," Fish said. "Investigators will continue to follow up on leads, and if you have information, we urge you to call."
Fish said the only suspect remains Garland "Joey" Nelson, who is currently jailed on one charge that he tampered with the brothers' rental truck.
The case has shocked Braymer, where several neighbors showed up to the sheriff's press conference Wednesday.
“We just want to know what’s actually going on, because all we hear are rumors and there’s nothing confirmed,” Braymer resident Destiny Cosgrove said. “We didn’t think anything could happen like that.”
This case has hit close to home for Cosgrove, who grew up in Braymer and said she was familiar with Nelson’s family.
“I just don’t believe that the family could have been involved,” she said. “We never would have thought anyone from our town could have been involved in this or capable of it. We’re just all really sorry. We’re sending all of our prayers.”
Around town, the announcement Wednesday added to the unease surrounding the case.
Inside Braymer Quick Shop, customers wondered what would be the next bombshell in the investigation.
“Everybody is asking, ‘What’s going on? Have you heard?’” cashier Kristin Rader said. “Everybody is kind of shocked that this could happen around here.”
Nicholas Diemel’s wife, Lisa, asked a Wisconsin judge Tuesday to declare the brothers dead so she can manage the livestock business.
The Diemel brothers were scheduled to fly home the night of July 21, but police launched an investigation after they never boarded the flight.
GPS information from the Ford F-250 truck Nicholas Diemel rented from Budget Rent A Car showed that the truck was driven from a hotel where the brothers were staying to a farm in Braymer on the morning of July 21.
Authorities searched the 74-acre farm, which was once the subject of a federal investigation into illegal cattle sales, for several days.
A little more than two hours after the brothers arrived at the farm, the truck was driven away from the farm and spotted by several security cameras approximately a half-hour later in Polo.
The truck was parked in a commuter lot near Interstate 35 and Missouri PP in Holt, Missouri, around 12:45 p.m. and left running with the keys in the ignition and lights on.
Nelson, who helped run farm operations at the Braymer address where the brothers went that morning, admitted driving the Diemel brothers’ truck from the farm to the commuter lot.
He was arrested and charged July 26 with one count of tampering with an automobile, because Nicholas Diemel was the only authorized driver, according to the rental agreement signed July 20.
Authorities located the truck July 22 in the commuter lot the morning after the Diemel brothers were reported missing and a search was initiated.
Nelson, 25, was booked into the Caldwell County Jail on Friday. He was being held without bond and a judge denied him bond at a hearing Monday.
Nelson will have another bond hearing on Thursday.