Braymer man charged with stealing missing Diemel brothers truck; authorities say case is now a death investigation

Garland Joseph Joey Nelson

Missouri law enforcement officials say the case of two missing Wisconsin brothers is now a death investigation, and a Braymer man has been charged in connection with the case.

Twenty-five year old Garland Nelson has been charged with felony first degree tampering with a motor vehicle, with no bond allowed. The vehicle is the one used by 35-year-old Nicholas and 24-year-old Justin Diemel before their disappearance.

Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish said the investigation had turned from a missing person investigation to a death investigation, which remains ongoing. Nelson has not been charged in the brothers’ death and it’s not clear if the brothers’ bodies were found.

According to court documents, Nelson admitted to driving the white F-250 truck, which Nicholas and Justin Diemel rented after arriving in the Kansas City area to check on cattle owned by their livestock company.

Nelson told law enforcement Tuesday that he drove the truck from a residence on Catawba Road to Clinton County, where he parked it in the commuter lot near Interstate 35 and Missouri PP.  Authorities checked the truck’s GPS and confirmed that the brothers drove to Nelson’s property from a hotel where they were staying, but there was no passenger in the vehicle when it was driven to Holt, according to a probable cause statement.  Nelson admitted to leaving the truck running with its lights on in the commuter lot.

According to court documents, investigators believe Nelson is “a danger to the community” and “has tried to mislead law enforcement.”

Nelson has a previous record and was sentenced in October of 2016 to two years in federal prison without parole, according to Tammy Dickinson, who was then the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. The court also ordered Nelson to pay $262,450 in restitution to his victims, including the USDA Farm Service Agency, Cyclone Cattle Company, and individual victims.

On Nov. 30, 2015, Nelson pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme using property mortgaged or pledged to farm credit agencies. Nelson engaged in a three-part fraud scheme that caused a combined loss of $262,450.

Nelson admitted that he engaged in a scheme to sell at least 114 mortgaged head of cattle that were pledged to the Farm Service Agency, without notifying FSA of the sales, from April 1, 2013, to June 2014. He did not instruct purchasers to address proceeds checks to the FSA, as well as to him, and he did not remit the bulk of the sale proceeds to FSA, as was required by the terms of his loans. Instead, Nelson admitted that he kept the funds for his personal use.

The Diemels were in Missouri last weekend for business related to a livestock business they run in Wisconsin and were scheduled to fly home Sunday but missed their plane out of Kansas City.