The Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department might be wrapping up its part of the investigation into two missing Wisconsin brothers in the coming weeks.

According to Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett, none of the seven deputies who were assisting in the case are on the scene in Caldwell County anymore.

“We have no deputies physically in Caldwell County,” Puett said. “But I still have seven actively working on evidence.

“(We) possibly will add two more tomorrow for some items,” he said. “We anticipate we will have people actively working through next Friday.”

While it isn’t clear exactly what evidence the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department is working on, Puett previously said his department conducted a forensic exam on the Diemels’ rental truck that was found abandoned in a parking lot in Holt, Missouri.

He also previously said his team was working an area near a pole barn off S.E. Ayers Drive near Braymer, Missouri, but they did not link up with either of two search dog units that also assisted in the investigation.

Human remains were found on the farm where the suspect in the case, Garland Joseph Nelson, resides. However, those remains have yet to be identified.

Puett said he believed sometime after next Friday his team will turn over its evidence to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Department and the Caldwell County coroner.

Nelson has been charged only with tampering with the brothers’ rental truck. He is being held without bond in the Caldwell County Jail on the single felony charge.

During an appearance at the Caldwell County Courthouse Thursday, Nelson appeared to only say two words, a “yes sir” to acknowledge he could hear the judge. During the appearance, it was made clear that Nelson is no longer being represented by private Cameron Attorney Drew Davis, but by a public defender, Ryan Williams.

No reason was given for the switch, but Williams said it was, “unusual for this county” for someone to be held without bond on a class E tampering charge.

Another court hearing is set for 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. Williams said he hoped to move forward with the discovery process at that time. Williams said Nelson could face up to seven years in prison, a year in county jail and/or a $10,000 fine if convicted on the tampering charge.

Williams didn’t say if he would seek a change of venue in the case, nor did he say if he would object to media cameras in the courtroom during the trial.

Nelson is known to do cattle business in the Midwest region. According to the Kansas City Star, a Kansas dairy farmer, David Foster, bought more than 100 cattle from Nelson in November.

Foster said the cattle were supposed to graze at Nelson’s farm, but the pair would share in the profit once they were sold. Foster said that Nelson only returned 35 of the cattle and that they were malnourished.

Nelson’s mother, Tomme Feil, told the Kansas City Star that the weather and a cold winter caused some of the cattle to die.

“We were doing everything possible to keep them alive,” Foster said.

According to Feil, police have seized documents from Nelson’s business during their search of the farm.

Nelson was previously convicted of passing bad checks and cattle fraud. He was also the subject of a protection order in 2015.

Matt Hoffmann can be reached


Follow him on Twitter: @NpNowHoffmann.