Man pleads not guilty to charge in Diemel brothers disappearance

Garland "Joey" Nelson

CALDWELL COUNTY, Mo. (WBAY) - The man charged in the disappearance of two Shawano County brothers in Missouri has entered a not guilty plea.

Garland "Joey" Nelson appeared before a judge in Caldwell County Monday for an arraignment hearing on a charge of Felony Tampering with a Vehicle.

The charge relates to the July 21 disappearance of brothers Nick and Justin Diemel. Investigators say the Diemel brothers are presumed dead.

In court Monday, Nelson waived his formal arraignment and entered a plea of "not guilty." Nelson also requested a change of judge. The court granted his request and the Missouri Supreme Court will assign a new judge to hear the case.

Nelson is being held without bond. Action 2 News will continue to follow the developments out of Missouri and track the Nelson case.

The Diemel brothers' last known location was Nelson's sprawling farm in Braymer, Missouri. The brothers owned Diemel Livestock in Bonduel and did business with Nelson.

Human remains were found on the Nelson farm, but they have not been identified. Action 2 News has reached out to investigators in Missouri, but have not received a response.

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.

On July 30, human remains were discovered on Nelson's 74-acre farm in Braymer. They have not yet been identified. Law enforcement is working with forensic experts to find out if these remains belong to the Diemel brothers.

No charges have been filed related to the remains found on Nelson's property.

Nelson is facing separate charges in Bourbon County, Kansas, related to treatment of livestock. The charge is Endangering the food supply; Bring domestic animal infected with disease.

Action 2 News spoke with farmer David Foster, owner of Cash Cow Enterprises in Fort Scott, Kansas. 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 says he spoke with Nick Diemel several times and they 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 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. CLICK HERE for the full story.

Read the original version of this article at www.wbay.com.