Preliminary hearing pushed back for man charged in Diemel case

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CALDWELL COUNTY, Missouri (WBAY) - A preliminary hearing for a Missouri man charged in connection to the disappearance of the Diemel brothers has been pushed back to September.

Photos provided

Garland "Joey" Nelson, 25, appeared in Missouri's Caldwell County Court Thursday where he was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing. That's when a judge decides if there is enough evidence to move the case forward to trial.

"Upon motion of defendant, cause is continued to 9/16/19," reads Missouri court records. That means the preliminary hearing is pushed back until Sept. 16.

Nelson is charged with Tampering with a Vehicle related to the investigation into the deaths of Nick and Justin Diemel. The Bonduel-area brothers disappeared July 21 after visiting Nelson's farm in Braymer, Missouri.

Nelson is being held without bond.

No charges have been filed against Nelson regarding the human remains discovered on his sprawling farm property in Braymer. The farm was the center of of the search for Nick and Justin Diemel.

Clinton County, Missouri Sheriff Larry Fish says the human remains were discovered Tuesday, July 30. They have not yet been identified. Law enforcement is working with forensic experts to find out if these remains belong to the Diemel brothers.

"Investigators were assisted by a frontier forensic anthropologist who has identified that human remains have been located at the search area in Braymer, Missouri," Sheriff Fish said. "Cause of death has not been determined."

Sheriff Fish has stressed that the case remains an active investigation. Local, state, federal and out-of-state agencies continue to work on the case.

Fish would not say where or how the remains were discovered.

"Investigators are still working with frontier forensic doctors to determine what took place," says Fish.

The Nelson farm is about 74 acres, but it's not the only property investigators have been searching, Sheriff Fish wouldn't identify those other places.

Asked if they think the brothers were killed on the farm, Fish said, "That's what investigators are trying to find out."

Sheriff Fish described Nelson as cooperative, but he also said Nelson has a history of misleading police. Nelson served two years in federal prison for fraud after selling cattle that didn't belong to him.

"He has been in previous investigations, federally. That stuff plays an important role in continuing on any further crimes," Sheriff Fish said.

A probable cause statement obtained by Action 2 News says Nelson admitted driving Nick Diemel's rental vehicle from his Braymer home and parking it in a commuter lot on Interstate 35 and Highway PP in Holt. Holt is about 40 miles southwest of Braymer.

Here's the timeline, according to the probable cause statement:

GPS information shows the Diemel's rented 2019 F250 Ford truck left a hotel in Cameron, Mo., at about 8:49 on the morning of July 21. They traveled east on Highway 36. At about 9:26 a.m., the rental truck pulls into Joey Nelson's driveway on Catawba Road in Braymer.

At 11:44 a.m., the rental truck leaves Joey Nelson's property.

At 12:18 p.m., the truck is recorded on a security camera at Casey's General Store in Polo. The truck is driving south on Highway 13. Security camera video shows no passenger in the front seat.

At 12:19 p.m., the rental truck is captured on security camera of a Hy-Klas Foods. It's going west on Highway 116. Again, video shows no passenger in the front seat of the truck.

At 12:45 p.m., the truck pulls into the commuter lot at Highway PP and I-35 in Holt. The truck was left running with the keys in the ignition and the lights on. The probable cause statement says Nelson admitted to leaving it there.

"Based on my investigation, I believed Mr. Nelson drove the 2019 Ford F-250 rental truck without the consent of the renter N. Diemel's permission or the Rental companies [sic] permission," reads the probable cause statement.

Nick Diemel, 35, and Justin Diemel. 24, were co-owners of Diemel's Livestock LLC in Bonduel. They had traveled to Missouri for business. Joey Nelson was a known client of Diemel's Livestock.

Court records show Nick Diemel's wife, Lisa, filed a procedural petition to be named special administrator of the estates of Nick and Justin. The estate includes Diemel's Livestock out of Bonduel. The court records filed in Shawano County show July 21 as the date of death for both Nick and Justin.

Joey Nelson served two years in federal prison for fraud. Federal court records say Nelson engaged in a scheme to sell more than 100 cattle he did not own and kept the money. He was ordered to pay more than $262,000 in restitution to multiple victims, including the USDA Farm Service Agency, individual farmers, and another cattle company that operates similar to the Diemels' livestock business. The Diemels were not named in that case.

Action 2 News' Aisha Morales spoke with a farmer who had previous business dealings with Nelson. David Foster said he had spoken with Nick Diemel in the past about frustrations with Nelson. CLICK HERE for the full story.

Nick Diemel's wife, Lisa, told Action 2 News that farmers in Missouri and Indiana and other states raise cattle for Diemel's Livestock. Nick regularly travels as part of his business.

Lisa says she last spoke with Nick at 8:55 a.m. on July 21. She says the men were about to travel to a client's farm to discuss business.

We now know that they visited Nelson's farm.

Neither Nick or Justin answered texts or phone calls after that 8:55 a.m. conversation.

“Nick is a father of four kids. He's my high school sweetheart. Him not contacting us... we didn't go for long when he was on trips to check on me or talk to our children,” Lisa Diemel tells Action 2 News.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Clinton County Sheriff's Office at 816-632-8477.

A benefit fund is set up for the Diemel family at Community First Credit Union. Donors can send checks to this address:

Community First Credit Union
P.O Box 1487
Appleton WI 54912-1487

Make checks payable to "Diemel Brothers Benefit."