Her Tinder Date Swore She Was Alive—but Police Just Found Her Body
The search for Sydney Loofe ends in tragedy as police question two persons of interest—a woman who dated Loofe online and her older male companion—in the case.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Tuesday morning with new information from the Lincoln police.
The body of a Nebraska woman who vanished after a Tinder date has been found, and Lincoln police suspect foul play.
Sydney Loofe, 24, was reported missing Nov. 16, after she didn’t make her shift at a Menard’s home-improvements store in Lincoln.
The FBI and Nebraska State Patrol had joined Lincoln police in the investigation into her disappearance—a probe that led to two persons of interest posting a pair of Facebook videos to profess their innocence.
One of them, a 23-year-old single mom named Bailey Boswell, went on two dates with Loofe the week she vanished.
“It’s with heavy hearts that we share this most recent update with you all,” her family wrote on Facebook on Monday night. “Please continue to pray for Sydney and our entire family. May God grant eternal rest unto thee. We love you Sydney.”
Loofe’s body was discovered Monday afternoon in an open rural area of Clay County, about 90 miles west of Lincoln.
At a Tuesday press conference, Lincoln police chief Jeff Bliemeister would not comment on the condition of Loofe’s body but told reporters that her identity would be confirmed through forensic analysis. An autopsy is pending.
Loofe’s “digital footprint” and police on the ground led to her discovery, Bliemeister said.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, Lincoln police identified Boswell and 51-year-old Aubrey Trail as persons of interest in the case.
Last week Wednesday, Trail and Boswell posted a video to “Finding Sydney Loofe,” the Facebook group run by Loofe’s relatives. In the footage, they denied having involvement with Loofe’s disappearance.
Cops appeared to eye Trail because he lived in the city of Wilber, which is where Loofe’s phone pinged a cell tower before it was turned off.
“They’re chasing us around like dogs,” Trail told the camera. “I wish the family the best… I wish Sydney the best. But as far as the police department, fuck you.”
On Tuesday, Chief Bliemeister said that Boswell and Trail are considered persons of interest but aren’t currently charged in connection to the Loofe homicide investigation.
“One thing that I do want to point out is the fact that we do not believe … that there is any ongoing risk to the safety of the public based upon this investigation,” Bliemeister said.
When asked if Trail and Boswell were cooperative, the chief paused and appeared to choose his words carefully. “We’re continuing to speak with Aubrey Trail, and we’ll continue to do so as long as he’s willing to do that.”
Bliemeister declined to answer when a reporter later asked whether Boswell was cooperating, too. “At this point, I would not answer that particular question and more toward the investigative process itself,” he said.
The cop confirmed, however, that Boswell and Trail created the Facebook videos where they denied involvement with Loofe’s disappearance.
And it’s because of their statements in these videos, Bliemeister said, that cops believe they were the last people to see Loofe alive.
In the first recording, Trail said that he and Boswell gave detailed statements to police and advised reporters to call his attorney. (Multiple messages left for Trail’s lawyer in Falls City were not returned last week or on Monday.)
Meanwhile, Boswell said she took Loofe out twice after meeting her on Tinder. (Full disclosure: Tinder is owned by IAC, the parent company of The Daily Beast.) They drove around smoking marijuana and “hit it off,” Boswell claimed in the nine-minute video.
“I went to take her home, and she asked me to drop her off at a friend’s house, so I did so,” the woman claiming to be Boswell said. (She noted on the video that she went by multiple aliases, including “Aubrey... because I have warrants.”) “I gave her my number. We were planning to go to the casino that weekend.
“I haven’t heard from her since.”
Chief Bliemeister said that cops “extensively explored” Boswell’s claims in the footage. “I can tell you that the investigative efforts have not been able to confirm those particular details. We’ll still work towards that end,” Bliemeister said.
“But again, the analysis of the digital footprint led us to the discovery of who we believe to be Sydney,” he added.
On Friday, before they turned themselves in to authorities near Branson, Missouri, the bizarre duo posted another video clip to Facebook.
“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,” Trail says in the footage. “I’ve never hurt a female in my life. So take that for whatever the hell it’s worth.”
Trail has previous convictions for forgery and issuing bad checks, authorities said. Prosecutors in Saline County obtained an arrest warrant accusing Trail of being a felon in possession with a firearm, but it was withdrawn the next day.
In the video, Trail said he was guilty of “forgery, bad checks, theft,” but “that’s it.”
“I’m not saying I’m a nice guy. I’m a crook. I’m a thief. I’ve been all my life, OK? But I’m not what you’re trying to make me out to be,” Trail says.
Trail hit back at Loofe family supporters who were condemning him in online comments.
“I’m a pedophile? No, I like adults. I like females, twenties, thirties, so sue me. I’m an old horny guy. So what? Don’t call me a fucking pedophile. I hate fucking pedophiles. I hate anyone that messes with children,” he continues, apparently in reference to his appearance with the much-younger Boswell.
Trail adds that turning himself in is the only option.
Boswell then shows off her tattoos for the camera, to prove her identity in the videos.
“But I do want to add one thing. That guy who lives across from us, that supposedly said her [Sydney’s] phone was buried deep in our backyard. I like that, that’s funny,” Boswell says, before the footage cuts out.
Loofe moved to Lincoln in 2011 after graduating high school in Neligh, where her father, George, was the principal. Her mother, Susie, is a teacher for the school district.
Susie Loofe told the Lincoln Journal Star that her daughter’s car and cat, Nimzy, were still at her house the day she didn’t come to work—signs that something was amiss.
“She wouldn’t leave her cat,” Susie Loofe said. “She was planning on coming home that night. Everything left in her house, points that she was.”
Last week, Loofe’s parents spoke at a press conference alongside police and pleaded for help in finding their daughter.
“In my opinion, someone knows something,” George Loofe said. “Please do the right thing.”