“This place is normally quiet, and it’s hard to believe anything crazy would happen around here,” said Kent Brown, a citizen of Braymer, Missouri.
The small, one-stoplight town of Braymer has been receiving some national attention as the search for two missing Wisconsin brothers continues into its second week while investigators search a 78-acre farm and several other properties. On Monday afternoon, Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish and Caldwell County Sheriff Jerry Galloway met with press and citizens to update them on the search for Justin and Nicholas Diemel.
“Sunday, we do know that our two victims arrived at the farm outside of Braymer; we do know that they arrived in the rental truck that they rented,” Fish recapped. “We do know that they were there for a business deal with cattle. During that transaction, we do not know exactly what occurred yet; we’re working to find that all out.”
On Friday afternoon, the sheriff announced that the search of the farm located at Catawba Road was no longer a missing persons case, but a death investigation. Fish said that the abandonment of the Diemels’ rental truck and investigation led them to this conclusion, though no remains have been found.
“But we do have a suspect that we did arrest for tampering with a motor vehicle, Garland Nelson, who admitted to driving the brothers’ vehicle from the farm outside of Braymer to the commuter area in Holt Missouri,” Fish said.
Though it has not been confirmed that Nelson is the owner of the property that investigators have been searching, the man does have a history of cattle trading. In 2016, Nelson was convicted of cattle fraud after he conducted a scheme that costs his victims more than $262,000.
According to Fish, Nelson was cooperating with the investigation, though a court document filed at the time of his arrest said that he was trying to mislead law enforcement.
Brown, who went to high school with Nelson, said that he would have never expected the man to be involved in something like this.
“We would butt heads once in a while, tease each other,” Brown said. “Never really expected anything from it.”
According to Fish, Nelson is still in custody with bond denied. As the search continues, investigators say they are expecting the search to be a lengthy one complicated by little manpower, weather and time.
“It’s wore us down,” Fish said. “It’s a long-term case that’s going to wear people down. We’re going to get tired; we’re going to get exhausted, but we’re here for the long haul.”