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Report: Farmer reveals audio recording of man connected to missing Shawano County brothers

Posted at 11:04 AM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 12:04:53-04

A Kansas farmer is revealing new information about a man connected to two missing Wisconsin brothers, Nicholas and Justin Diemel.

In an interview with KCTV5 in Missouri, David Foster said he used to work with Garland Joseph (Joey) Nelson. Nelson is in jail without bail on charges of tampering with a rental truck the brothers used during their Missouri trip.

Nelson is accused of driving the truck from a farm near Braymer visited by the brothers during a business trip for their cattle operation in Wisconsin. The truck was found abandoned July 22.

Police found human remains on the farm but have not yet identified them.

David Foster farms in Bourbon County, Kansas. In addition to the dairy, he owns Cash Cow Enterprises. It was through that business he met a cattleman from northwest Missouri: Joey Nelson.

According to the interview with KCTV5, the two cattlemen first met in 2018, when Nelson contacted Foster about a metal shed he had for sale through Cash Cow Enterprises.

Nelson offered to tear the building down himself and reassemble it on his own farm. The two men soon began talking on the phone on a regular basis. They entered another agreement with a pair of refrigerated trailers, KCTV5 reports.

The two men then partnered in November on some cattle; first a herd of 31, then 100 more from Nick and Justin Diemel’s livestock company in Wisconsin.

“Our arrangement was that I was going to purchase the calves,” said Foster. “He was going to feed and raise them and when they got to weaning weight, we were going to sell them and split the profit.”

But things started to go sour. Foster says Nelson stopped making payments on the trailers and the shed.

“You felt like you got stabbed in the back,” said Foster.

The cattle deal wasn’t going well either.

“It came time to be due for them to be weaned and sold and he was coming up with all these excuses and stories as to why he hadn't sold them,” said Foster.

Foster started secretly recording his conversations with Nelson. When he asked for money, Nelson told him he didn’t have it. One audio recording shows him referencing one of the Diemel brothers.

“I told Justin, I said Justin, I know we owe you an [expletive] load of money,” the audio recording says.

He tells Nelson that he’s ready to hurt himself, or someone else.

One audio recording says: “Short of pulling a gun on somebody and hoping I don’t go to jail!"

“I was ready to visit him face to face and tell him we needed to count cattle,” said Foster.

Instead, KCTV5 says Nelson showed up at Foster’s dairy with roughly 35 of the cattle 131 cattle and dropped them off in one of his pastures.

Foster took pictures of the cattle, which appeared malnourished and diseased.

According to KCTV5, Foster began reaching out to Nelson’s other business contacts, including the Diemels. He found out that Wisconsin brothers had a separate partnership with Nelson, and that the livestock company was also frustrated.

But Foster never did visit Nelson’s farm in Braymer. He said he felt duped and cheated by Nelson, who he once thought of as a friend.

He also wondered what might have happened if he had made the trip to Nelson’s operation.

“It’s pretty simple,” Nelson said. “It could have been me. Because I could have been in that position.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.