GRIM

Dating App Grifters Charged in Nebraska Woman Sydney Loofe’s Murder

A pair of lovebird grifters have been arrested for the murder of a young woman after meeting and wooing her on an online dating app.

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

A Nebraska woman was found dead in a field after a Tinder date. Now, six months later, a pair of alleged grifters are being charged with her grisly murder.

Aubrey Trail, 51, and Bailey Boswell, 24, were arraigned Tuesday morning in the slaying of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe. They appeared in Saline County court via video conference, wearing orange jumpsuits. Both were denied bond.

On Monday night, Nebraska’s attorney general charged the duo with first-degree murder and improper disposal of human skeletal remains. According to newly-released court documents, Trail confessed to strangling Loofe with an extension cord and told cops that Boswell helped clean up the crime scene.

Authorities discovered Loofe’s dismembered body in garbage bags in a marshy area of Clay County on Dec. 4 and 5—about two weeks after she disappeared. Loofe’s mother called cops on Nov. 16 when she didn’t show up for her cashier shift at Menards, a home-improvements chain store.

Trail and Boswell created Facebook videos professing their innocence before their arrests, and as police were searching for them. They posted the now-deleted clips to a Facebook group run by the victim’s family called “Finding Sydney Loofe.”

Boswell, a young mother from Missouri, told her social-media viewers that she met Loofe on Tinder and they “drove around Lincoln, smoked weed [and] had a great time.” She took Loofe on another date the following evening, she said.

At the end of the second date, Loofe asked to be dropped at a friend’s house, Boswell claimed. “I gave her my number. We were planning to go to the casino that weekend,” Boswell said in the Facebook video. “I haven’t heard from her since.”

Trail initially denied any involvement in Loofe’s slaying. In a second Facebook video posted before his arrest, Trail declared: “I do what I do, be it, if I’m a thief, I’m a thief. But I’ll be goddamned, I’ve never killed anyone in my life. I’ve never hurt a female in my life. So take that for whatever the hell it’s worth.”

Cops caught up with the odd couple on Nov. 30. Soon after, they faced a 14-count federal indictment for transporting stolen goods—as part of a gold-coin scheme—from Kansas to Nebraska. Last month, the pair agreed to plead guilty to one count, for which they each face 10 years behind bars and $250,000 in fines.

But Trail and Boswell could now encounter more serious consequences: life in prison or even death for the murder of Loofe.

The convicted con artists killed Loofe “purposely and with deliberate and premeditated malice” sometime on or between Nov. 15 and Nov. 16 of 2017, according to the complaint. And they allegedly dumped Loofe’s remains between Nov. 15 and Nov. 30.

Court papers provide a glimpse into Loofe’s final moments, after months of silence from law enforcement officials investigating her demise.

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The charges also come months after Trail, in a series of bizarre phone calls from jail, claimed he killed Loofe in a sex game gone wrong. He told the Lincoln Journal Star that Loofe died of accidental asphyxiation and that he was solely responsible.

In another alleged phone confession to the Omaha World-Herald, Trail said Loofe took part in a fantasy with himself and two other women, but that Boswell was passed out on drugs at the time. “It wasn’t supposed to go to the extreme it went, of course not,” Trail told the World-Herald. “It wasn’t meant that she was to die.”

The criminal complaint, however, does not mention Trail’s claims of a deadly rendezvous.

In an affidavit accompanying the complaint, Saline County Sheriff Alan Moore said Loofe was last seen leaving Menards on Nov. 15, unaware that earlier that day, Boswell and Trail were apparently plotting to kill her.

Indeed, Loofe was excited about a second evening with Boswell, who has yet to make any statements to police. “Ready for my date,” Loofe wrote in a Snapchat selfie she sent to a friend on Nov. 15. Police say Boswell and Loofe had their first date the night before.

Cops obtained security footage at a Home Depot that showed the alleged killers shopping on Nov. 15 around 10:35 a.m. They bought “tools and supplies believed to have been used in the dismemberment and disposal” of Loofe, court papers allege.

“It should be noted that Sydney Loofe was alive at that time, and began her shift later that day at Menards,” Moore wrote in his affidavit.

Loofe’s mother, Susan, a schoolteacher in Neligh, reported her missing the afternoon of Nov. 16, after she failed to appear at work.

A search warrant revealed Loofe and Boswell chatted on Tinder from Nov. 11 to Nov. 15 and exchanged 140 messages. Their last was on Nov. 15 at 6:54 p.m., when Boswell texted that she’d arrived at Loofe’s apartment. (Cops discovered the alpha-numeric numbers for Boswell’s and Loofe’s Tinder accounts and determined Boswell went by “Audrey” on her online-dating profile, court documents state. In one Facebook video, Boswell said she was “Audrey on Tinder and a few other names because I have warrants.”)

Meanwhile, around 8:31 p.m. on Nov. 15, Loofe’s phone last pinged a cell tower near Wilber, where Boswell and Trail lived in a basement apartment. Detectives searched that residence four days later. The landlord, who lived upstairs, reported a strong odor of bleach coming from the basement, the affidavit says.

Once inside the lair of the alleged killers, cops noticed portions of the walls were “wiped down in an effort to clean them,” court papers allege.

All the while, law enforcement was searching for the couple, who’d traveled to cities in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri. Cops nabbed them at a Branson hotel, and police say the duo consented to a search of their room.

Boswell, too, allegedly gave investigators permission to search her iPhone 7 and they discovered the device was reset to factory default settings on Nov. 17, the affidavit states. The afternoon before, Boswell’s phone was “in close proximity to the area where the remains were discovered,” court papers allege.

According to an autopsy, Loofe’s cause of death is homicidal violence including strangulation. The manner of death is homicide, the forensic report said.

After Loofe’s body was found, Trail was interviewed by Lincoln police and the FBI. Trail “acknowledged that he strangled her to death with an extension cord,” the affidavit says. “He also stated that Boswell assisted in cleaning up the crime scene and assisted in disposing of Sydney’s body.”

Boswell and Trail are scheduled to return to court next week.