Farmer's chilling story sheds light on man arrested in Diemel case

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Published: Aug. 7, 2019 at 4:47 PM CDT
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A Kansas farmer is sharing details about his business encounters with a man charged in connection to the Diemel brothers death investigation.

David Foster tells Action 2 News that he once called Garland "Joey" Nelson a friend. Foster says that relationship changed when business dealings with Nelson crumbled.

The owners of a Bonduel, Wis. business also did business with Nelson. Nick and Justin Diemel disappeared July 21 after visiting Nelson's sprawling farm in Braymer, Mo. The disappearance is a death investigation.

Nelson, 25, is

in relation to the disappearance of the Diemel brothers. A probable cause statement says Nelson admitted to driving Nick Diemel's rental truck on the day of the disappearance.

On July 30, searchers found human remains on Nelson's 74-acre farm. Those remains have yet to be identified.

We're learning more about Joey Nelson from David Foster, the owner of Cash Cow Enterprises in Fort Scott, Kansas. Foster says their relationship began when Joey Nelson reached out to him about doing some business.

Foster says his frustrations grew when Nelson failed to pay up.

"I was getting a little bit more aggravated and he was coming up with more elaborate excuses, and one time he was basically threatening to commit suicide and all this, and it’s like the last thing I want to do is be the reason why somebody offs themselves," says Foster.

Foster said Nelson raised cattle for him. As the business deal soured, the cattle were returned to Foster in poor condition.

"Mine were returned, they were malnourished, starved, I mean skin and bone," says Foster. "I had to help pick the calves up off the ground, onto the trailer, just so I could move them off my property."

Foster started talking with other farmers who had similar stories about Joey Nelson.

"I called them up, and I started asking them about their relationship to Joey, and what I found was that they did not have a partnership with Joey, they might have done business with him once, but they said 'He’s a liar, he’s a thief, he’s a crook' and all this stuff. And I’m like, 'Yeah I’m starting to get that,'" Foster says.

Foster says he spoke with Nick Diemel several times and shared frustrations about business dealings with Nelson.

"I had talked to Nick multiple times prior to him going missing," says Foster. "The last time I talked to Nick was July 5th, and then the previous time I had talked to him before that, I remember him saying that he had told Joey to sell the cattle to send him a check."

Foster continues, "Then this last time I said, 'Well did you ever get a check or did you get paid?' And he said, 'Oh, they sent me a check but it wasn’t any good.' Something like that. And he was going to go down and basically beat his ass or whatever, but still, a normal response to somebody who owes him over a quarter million dollars."

Foster tells us the disappearance of the Diemel brothers hits close to home.

"My banker threatened that we were going to go up there and start counting cattle, find out what had happened and why haven’t they been sold, and all this, which I envision is eerily similar to what the Diemels were going through," says Foster.

Eventually, Foster cut ties with Joey Nelson.

"Basically, I cut off all ties with Joey, I think it was May 16th, is the last text that I sent him, of this year, we had done business since May 11th, of 2018," says Foster. "That was the first contract that he signed here at my farm, in Kansas, to do some business together."

Foster started looking into Nelson's history. He discovered Nelson had spent two years in federal prison for fraud.

"I started doing all my own research. It didn’t take very long to find, oh, he’s already been in prison for 18 months or something like that. And so after he had dumped the cattle on my property, that’s when I really started diving in. Like, hey this is the last straw, this isn’t right, something is definitely wrong," says Foster.

The Kansas businessman saved phone conversations and texts with Nelson.

"Every little thing was a lie. Everything that he had ever told me. So as I started going back through phone logs, conversations, text messages, all this stuff I started doing my own private investigation and following up with any time he had mentioned somebody he had done business with, or whatever," says Foster.

Joey Nelson appeared in a Missouri courtroom Thursday. The court scheduled a preliminary hearing for Aug. 15. Nelson is being held without bond.