LINCOLN — Murder suspect Aubrey Trail kept about 56 Beanie Babies, several toy trucks, a lion rug and “shackles” in his apartment in Wilber, Nebraska, and his defense attorney wants to look over the items before they are destroyed.
On Wednesday, Trail’s attorney, Ben Murray of Hebron, filed two motions in court, asking a judge to allow him to inspect the apartment and the belongings left behind by Trail and his roommate, Bailey Boswell, and to preserve them for testing by the defense team.
The motions came in response to a “right to reclaim abandoned property” notice sent by the apartment’s owner last week to Trail, who is jailed in Saline County. Trail was notified that the toys, antiques and other belongings would be “kept, sold or destroyed” unless the property is picked up and a $2,875 storage bill is paid by Tuesday.
“Preservation of the scene and evidence contained within it is vital and material to the defendant’s defense,” Murray stated in his motion, citing a judge’s recent order granting defense attorneys the right to obtain all evidence collected in the case.
The defense attorney said destruction of the property would be a sign of “bad faith” and would prevent Trail’s lawyers from doing their own crime-scene tests on the items.
Trail’s apartment, which is next to Wilber-Clatonia High School, had been under the control of law enforcement officials until recently, when it was turned over to the apartment’s owner. The landlord, Alan Koll, declined comment when contacted Wednesday.
Trail, 51, and Boswell, 24, are each charged with first-degree murder and improper disposal of a body in connection with the death of Sydney Loofe, a Lincoln store clerk who disappeared after arranging a date on Tinder with Boswell. Loofe’s dismembered body was found Dec. 4 and 5 in a rural area about 60 miles west of Wilber.
Trail was well-known to area antique dealers, who said he liked to trade in antique toys. Among the possessions left behind were cast-iron toys, toy trucks, toy soldiers, wind-up toys and an “1853 Jewish Bible.” Most of the other items, aside from the shackles, were routine household items and clothing.
Trail has claimed in calls to the media that Loofe was accidentally strangled with an electrical cord as she participated, voluntarily, in a sexual fantasy. The state, by charging Trail with first-degree murder, is alleging that the act was premeditated and intentional.
The shackles left behind were not described.