The second week of Aubrey Trail’s trial for his involvement in the death of Sydney Loofe began with a bloody scene June 24 in Saline County Court.
In the middle of switching witnesses during the morning session, Trail shouted “Bailey is innocent and I curse you all” before slashing his neck with a sharp object. Security acted quickly and a short time after, Trail was taken to a local hospital where he was stitched and court ended for the day. He has not been present in court following the incident.
Testimony on behalf of the state continued June 25 with Lincoln Police Department investigator Matt Franken, who detailed his investigation of Loofe’s disappearance and the eventual apprehension of Trail and girlfriend Bailey Boswell.
Franken described Facebook videos Trail and Boswell made on Nov. 29, the day before they were discovered in Branson, Missouri. The first of the videos, put online earlier that day, was shown in court.
In it, Trail said he wanted to clear up what the media were saying about Boswell and himself, saying he wanted to “share his side of the story.”
The videos are what eventually led to their arrest the following day, as explained by FBI agent Mike Maseth, who also testified June 25. He said once he had been made aware of the videos, he issued an emergency request from Facebook to track down their IP address. An IP address is traceable to the closest cell tower used by electronic devices. Maseth eventually tracked the IP address to a hotel in Branson called the Windmill Inn, and the couple was arrested a short time after.
Bob Hurley, an investigator with the Lincoln Police Department, detailed his work in tracing the possible route Boswell and Trail took to dispose of Loofe’s body. He also did this through tracing three cell phones, two of which belonged to Boswell and one to Trail, the week following Loofe’s disappearance.
“The only time they went west of Wilber was on Nov. 16,” Hurley said.
The first week of December 2017, Hurley nailed down a particular location for investigators to check out – the intersection of Road S and Road 310 in Clay County. Hurley said he noticed a lot of places where the devices seemed to slow down within the area and then speed up again.
“The time and the distance didn’t add up,” Hurley said. “Even if you would have been going 40 miles an hour on a gravel road, you would cover more.”
On Dec. 3, investigators were at the scene of Road S and 308 when part of Loofe’s upper arm was found. Hurley said she was identified by a tattoo he had seen in pictures previously.
A search was then arranged for the following day, as Hurley said it was clear that investigators were not finding everything.
Nebraska State Patrol investigator Corey Townsend testified that, after narrowing the search to the intersection of Roads 308 and S in Clay County, law enforcement would “stop at any point where you could conceivably hide a body,” Townsend said.
The jury was presented with pictures of a bloody tarp and a plastic bag that once contained human remains, believed to be Loofe’s, found in the Dec. 4 search.
The following day, investigators found Loofe’s remains at multiple search sites, including an arm and her upper thighs, both found in plastic garbage bags. The jury was also presented with physical evidence in court, a pair of pajama pants, which were found covered in blood during the search.
A Gold’s Gym sweatsuit, underwear, a bloody towel, Hefty trash bags and other clothing items were the main focus of testimony given on June 26. They, along with 13 of the 14 dismembered parts of Loofe’s body, were found in rural Clay County Dec. 4-5. Investigators searched and found evidence from 17 sites total.
FBI special agent Eli McBride testified for the third time on behalf of the state regarding the search for Loofe’s body and the search conducted at Trail and Boswell’s residence in Wilber.
During the residential search, boxes of Hefty trash bags and a Gold’s Gym suit were found. Among other items found and seized were a book entitled “The Human Body Atlas” and a variety of sex toys.
The jury was shown a white Columbia jacket that was found in a field during the Dec. 5 search.
State prosecutor Sandra Allen asked McBride if he recalled a photo of Loofe when she was getting ready for her Nov. 14 date and what she was wearing in the photo.
“A white Columbia jacket,” McBride said.
Jurors were then presented with photos of Loofe’s body but kept calm faces throughout the examination. McBride said the only part of her body that was not found was her upper left arm.
Because Loofe’s family has attended every day of the trial this far, the only picture shown to the court was of one of Loofe’s hands.
The state then called FBI medical examiner Stacy Furman, who explained to the jury what she looks for when presented with potential criminal evidence. She was asked by state attorney Mike Guinn to detail her involvement with the Trail and Loofe case. Furman was presented with the “The Human Body Atlas” book in court and walked through her process with the jury.
Furman said there were no known fingerprints to link back to Trail, Loofe or Boswell.
Security footage from the Menards store where Loofe was working prior to Nov. 16, the day she went missing, was presented June 27.
The footage showed Trail walking near Loofe minutes after she arrived to work that day. He stayed in the store for about 10 minutes and purchased nothing while there.
Additional footage showed Trail and Boswell buying items throughout the day at multiple stores in Lincoln. One stop was Home Depot, where the two were seen buying a hacksaw with replaceable blades, utility knives and drop cloths, as testified by Lincoln Police Department investigator Chris Milisits.
The check-in counter from a Best Western Hotel in Lincoln was shown on video of Trial and Boswell checking in Nov. 14 and then out Nov. 15, the day Trail was seen in Loofe’s workplace. Later that evening, phone records indicate Boswell leaving her residence in Wilber, going to Loofe’s home in Lincoln and then returning the following day.
Rich Zimmerman, sergeant of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, testified in court Thursday about finding Loofe’s personal belongings along Highway 15 west of Wilber in December 2017, including her driver’s license and credit card, both of which had been cut into many pieces, and her car keys. Zimmerman recounted details of finding Loofe’s cell phone smashed and broken, also along Highway 15.
For the fifth day of testimony, the state called Captain Russ Kalkwarf of the Saline County Sheriff’s Office. He detailed his search on March 22, 2018, on Highway 15. He had originally gone to scout the location before sending officers out there the following day but discovered a few of Loofe’s items in the process. The jury was presented with a white shirt and colored bra Kalkwarf had found in the ditch.
On June 28, a three-hour interview between FBI investigators McBride and Maseth and Trail was played for the court. In it, Trail provided information into Loofe’s death.
“During that period of time (in Wilber), she died by strangulation, but it was not supposed to go as far as it did, but it did,” Trail said at one point.
In the video, conducted June 11, 2018, Trail spoke about his “dark side” and how he tried not to let Boswell get involved with it as they began spending more time together and eventually living together in Wilber.
He spoke of meeting Loofe on Nov. 15, saying he paid her $5,000 to play out a sexual fantasy that evening, because he knew she needed money. Trail said Loofe was accidentally strangled with an electrical cord and was adamant that Boswell was not present at the time of her death.
“She died in the bedroom,” Trail said. “I told you what my life is about: money, sex and women.”
McBride and Maseth then questioned Trail about the first week of December, when the dismembered pieces of Loofe’s body were discovered in rural Clay County. Trail said there was a cemetery of importance to himself and Boswell where they disposed of Loofe’s body and that “she was laid as she was so she would come back quicker.”
When investigators asked him what he wore to cut up her body, Trail said he wore a sweatsuit, like the one found at the scene and presented to the jury a few days before.
During the interview. Trail drew two pictures, one of the container in which he supposedly deposited Loofe’s blood and another of the locations where he and Boswell left Loofe’s body.
The third week of the trial continues with testimony July 1-3.