- John Bacon USA TODAY
Authorities have recovered the body of a Nebraska woman whose disappearance after a Tinder date last month triggered a massive search and bizarre social media posts from two persons of interest in the tragic mystery.
Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister said Tuesday that "analysis of digital evidence" led authorities to a body in rural Clay County they believe is that of Sydney Loofe, 24, who vanished three weeks ago.
"We do believe that there is evidence of foul play," Bliemeister said.
Bliemeister expressed a "strong belief" that the body is that of Loofe, who was reported missing Nov. 16 after failing to show up at her job at a Lincoln home improvement store. He said formal confirmation would be made in the coming days.
Bliemeister provided no further details on the cause of death or circumstances surrounding the discovery. Investigators had been using Loofe's cellphone signal to retrace her movements in the hours before she disappeared.
Loofe’s parents, George and Susie Loofe, acknowledged their daughter's death on their "Finding Sydney Loofe" Facebook page.
"It's with heavy hearts that we share this most recent update with you all," the couple said. "Please continue to pray for Sydney and our entire family. May God grant eternal rest unto thee. We love you Sydney."
Bliemeister said the persons of interest, Aubrey Trail, 51, and Bailey Boswell, 23, remained in custody but had not been charged in the case. Both apparently left the state in the days after Loofe disappeared and were arrested Thursday near Branson, Mo., on unrelated charges.
Social media posts indicate Loofe went on a date Nov. 15 with Boswell, who has confirmed on social media that she met Loofe via the dating app Tinder.
Boswell and roommate, Aubrey Trail, 51, live in the eastern Nebraska town of Wilber, about 40 miles south of Lincoln and the last place Loofe was seen alive. Trail and Boswell posted videos on social media last week proclaiming their innocence and claiming their efforts to speak with Lincoln police had been largely rebuffed.
Boswell, wearing a hoodie and sunglasses in a video, said she dropped Loofe off at a friend’s house after their date and never heard from her again. Bliemeister said authorities thus far have been unable to confirm Boswell's timeline.
Trail said on his video that he "wasn't running from anything." He sarcastically added that he is "just a criminal so you're going to believe" his claims.
"We're continuing to speak with Aubrey Trail and we'll continue to do so as long as he's willing," Bliemeister said Tuesday.
Bliemeister said police believe that there is no continuing threat to the public. But he provided no motive for the murder and stressed that no one had been charged.
"By their own statements on social media, we believe that Aubrey Trail and Bailey Boswell were two of the last people to see her before her disappearance," Bliemeister said. "Thus they remain persons of interest."