News That Matters To Antelope County - Your News. Your Way. Every Day!
© Pitzer Digital, LLC
Testimony in the Sydney Loofe murder trial continued Thursday — the third day without the defendant, Aubrey Trail.
“Once again, Mr. Trail has chosen not to appear,” Judge Vicky Johnson said as the trial reconvened in Saline County District Court.
The bulk of Thursday’s testimony focused on the actions and whereabouts of Trail and Bailey Boswell on Nov. 15, 2017 — the same night Boswell picked up Sydney for a date and was never heard from again.
LPD investigator Bob Hurley detailed the route that Boswell and Trail’s cell phones traveled around that time, using cell phone tower pings to track their movements to a Lincoln hotel, Home Depot, an antique mall, Sydney’s home, Menards and back to their Wilber apartment before stops at the local Dollar General and grocery store.
According to their phone records, the couple traveled from Wilber to the Best Western in Lincoln on Nov. 14. Testimony from the hotel manager and surveillance footage from the hotel later corroborated Hurley’s findings as the video showed Trail and Boswell getting out of a silver car and checking in at the front desk.
Boswell has told officers that she and Sydney went on a date that night, driving around, talking and smoking marijuana. Hurley said the phone records are consistent with driving around Lincoln the night of the 14th.
After Trail and Boswell’s phones left the hotel on the morning of the 15th, they traveled to Home Depot, Hurley said. Once again, testimony from a Home Depot employee, a receipt and a store surveillance video verified this. The couple was shown buying a hacksaw and replacement blades, a knife, 3 pack of plastic drop cloths, tin snips, blades for a utility knife and two sodas.
Hurley tracked their phones to the Aardvark Antique Mall in Lincoln after that. Mall manager Lorrie Orman testified that Trail and Boswell were dealers in the store, beginning June 18, 2017, and had come in on Nov. 15 to pick up a paycheck and buy some items. Surveillance video and a receipt confirmed that they purchased a folding saw, weed cutter, two food grinders and other items. The manager said Boswell was usually in the store once a week. She said Trail and Boswell had other girls with them on previous visits, but none of them were Sydney Loofe. Orman was asked whether bleach was often used as a cleaning agent for antiques and she replied it would be “damaging” to use bleach on items. She also said Trail and Boswell mostly dealt with toys, automobile items and tins.
After the antique mall, Hurley said the couple’s phones traveled near Sydney’s home, about the same time she left to work her noon shift at Menards. Their phones then tracked to Menards, where surveillance footage showed Trail walking near Sydney as she headed towards the lumber yard.
Trail and Boswell then headed back to their Wilber apartment, according to their phone records.
That afternoon, Boswell was tracked to Dollar General in Wilber. A store manager confirmed this with a receipt and video surveillance showing Boswell purchasing Hefty trash bags, bleach and large aluminum roasting pans.
Hurley said phone records indicated that Boswell left her apartment several hours later, arriving at Sydney’s house in Lincoln shortly before 7 p.m. Tinder records confirmed the timeline with a message from Boswell to Sydney that said “here.” Hurley said Boswell and Sydney’s phones track back to Wilber after that. After 8:08 p.m., he said there was no more movement to track on Sydney’s phone. “There are no more records after that,” Hurley said.
The next day, Boswell was shown on surveillance cameras at the local grocery store purchasing bleach, trash bags, a wastebasket and coffee.
Other testimony on Thursday centered on December 2017 searches done by the Saline County Sheriff’s Department. Sydney’s remains were discovered on Dec. 4.
During questioning after his Nov. 30 arrest, Trail told officers that he had thrown out Sydney’s cell phone near Wilber’s Czech Cemetery.
Sgt. Richard Zimmerman and Capt. Russell Kalkwarf said officers focused their roadside searches in that area. Down the road a stretch, officers eventually found a gray phone case which was cut into 7 pieces, Sydney’s drivers license in pieces, Sydney’s “smashed and broken” iPhone, Sydney’s keys and a cut up extension cord. Kalkwarf said several months later he drove the shoulder of Highway 15 to prepare for another search and found the white shirt Sydney was last seen wearing as well as a multi-colored bra with a cut in one of the cups.
Stipulations during court proceedings on Thursday revealed that numerous sex toys found in Trail and Boswell’s apartment were tested for DNA by the Nebraska State Patrol Crime Lab, none of which matched Sydney’s.
On Thursday, the judge told the jury that the trial “probably won’t be four full weeks,” even with a few days off next week due to the Fourth of July and the witness schedule.