KINGSTON, Mo. – A Missouri man has been charged with murder in connection to the deaths of two Wisconsin brothers this summer.
Caldwell County Sheriff Jerry Galloway announced Wednesday morning that charges were filed in against Garland Joseph Nelson, 25.
Nelson is accused of killing Nicholas and Justin Diemel, ages 34 and 24, who had traveled to Missouri to meet with him regarding cattle transactions, Galloway said. The men were reported missing July 21 after they missed a flight back to Wisconsin following a business trip.
Nelson also faces two counts of armed criminal action, abandoning a corpse, tampering with evidence and felon in possession of a firearm.
He faces a possible death penalty if convicted of the homicide charges.
Galloway talked of the complexity of the case and listed numerous police agencies that helped in the investigation, but provided no details and took no media questions.
The brothers, owners of Diemel’s Livestock, were believed to have been conducting business at Nelson’s farm before their disappearance on July 21, prompting investigators to search there.
Police said earlier investigators found human remains on Nelson’s property, but neither he nor anyone else has identified those remains as belonging to either of the Diemels.
Nelson was arrested in early August and charged in Missouri with tampering with the rental vehicle the brothers had been using. Prosecutors claim Nelson drove their rental truck off his property without their consent and abandoned it in a commuter parking lot. Nelson pleaded not guilty to the charge in October.
He also was charged Aug. 2, in Bourbon County, Kansas, with mistreating livestock. He faces charges in Kansas of transporting disease-infected domestic animals across state lines and endangering their food supply.
At least some of those charges appear to be related to the Diemels and their business. A Kansas farmer, David Foster, told KCTV5 News that Nelson had been raising about 100 calves from the Diemel stock and that he was supposed to raise them until they were ready for sale.
However, by the time Nelson dropped them off at Foster’s, many of the calves were in poor health and badly emaciated, according to a USDA report the TV station cited.
The investigation concerning the Diemels slid from a missing-persons probe to a murder investigation without authorities ever explaining why they were assuming the brothers were dead.
Nicholas Diemel’s wife, Lisa Diemel, got a court order in August giving her permission to manage the livestock business, write checks for outstanding bills and related business.She filed the court petition in late July and expressed the assumption that her husband and brother-in-law were dead.
Follow Paul Srubas on Twitter at @PGpaulsrubas.
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Diemel brothers murders: Garland Joseph Nelson of Missouri charged