A bitter wind blew Monday afternoon as friends and family of Sydney Loofe gathered to release green balloons following her memorial service.
Just moments before Sydney's parents walked out of the building, a rabbit casually hopped through the crowd, seemingly unphased by the large gathering. It simply weaved through the people on its way to its next destination — much like the balloons that fluttered in the wind toward the heavens with the hope that "everything will be wonderful someday."
Few even noticed the small rabbit, but its appearance was fitting, considering Sydney’s love of animals. In lieu of flowers, her family instead requested donations be made to the Henry Doorly Zoo in her honor.
While the Loofe family requested privacy during their time of mourning, they welcomed hundreds of loved ones into their arms with Sunday’s visitation and Monday’s memorial service at Grace Lutheran Church. Many attending wore either green ribbons or buttons in honor of Sydney and missing children awareness. Lunch after the memorial service was at the Antelope County Fairgrounds.
Surrounded by family, friends and classmates, Sydney’s parents George and Susie Loofe led the release of green balloons into the cloudy sky, many with messages attached for Sydney. The dreary weather matched the circumstances of the day.
After all, mixed with teary-eyed family and friends were uniformed officers from the Antelope County Sheriff’s Department, Neligh Police Department and Nebraska State Patrol. Plain-clothed detectives also were inside the church Monday morning, offering a subtle reminder that many questions remain as to what happened to Sydney.
The memorial service was less than a week after Sydney’s body was found in rural Clay County. Missing since Nov. 15, no one has been charged in her death, although two persons of interest in the case are in police custody due to unrelated charges.
Both Aubrey Trail, 51, and Bailey Boswell, 23, have been charged in federal court with transporting stolen merchandise across state lines.
The Omaha World-Herald reported that the two are suspected in theft and bad check cases from several states totaling between $300,000 and $500,000.
The Numismatic Crime Information Center posted that the Lincoln Police Department requested assistance on a counterfeit coin case in June of this year. The center said it also sent out two alerts regarding Trail and Boswell as suspects in a theft at a Utah coin shop. Additional information on a second alert reported that the suspects had been seen in Iowa and Tennessee.
“The subjects are currently in custody, but detectives are looking for anyone who has come into contact with these two subjects. We are also looking for additional victims,” according to the center.
Much is still unclear on how Boswell and Trail, who is twice Boswell’s age, became associated. The World-Herald reported that in Wilber, people who saw Trail and Boswell together assumed they were father and daughter — until they saw them holding hands. In Pennsylvania, officials believed they were engaged.
Anyone with information regarding Trail and Boswell is asked to call the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-8675.