Bailey Boswell Trial Day 4: Witnesses describe last days spent with Sydney Loofe, early days of investigation

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 10:39 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On the prosecution’s first day calling witnesses, Sydney Loofe’s friends and family walked the jury through their last days with 24-year-old Sydney Loofe.

Susie Loofe, Sydney’s mom, was the first to take the stand. Susie told the jury Sydney spent the weekend before she went missing in Neligh with family, they visited a craft fair. Sydney and her mom ran into one of Sydney’s childhood friends, Brittany Flinn, who also testified, and she said through tears that was the last time she saw Sydney.

Susie said Sydney also discussed with her family that her depression had gotten worse, and the family made plans to go to a doctor in Lincoln Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Susie, George Loofe and Sydney drove up to Lincoln and went to the doctor. After that, Susie and George headed back to Neligh.

That was the last time she saw Sydney in person.

But they talked after that.

“She and I texted regularly,” Susie said. “I texted her to find out how she was doing even though I knew the medication wouldn’t work that quickly I wanted to keep in touch.”

Sydney told Susie she had a really good day on Nov.14.

On Nov. 15, Sydney and Susie didn’t talk.

Though Sydney posted a picture of her dressed up for a date on her Snapchat with a message that said “ready for my date.” Susie screenshotted it.

“My kids make fun of me because I screenshot everything,” Susie told the jury.

She asked Sydney why she didn’t tell her about the date. Sydney didn’t reply.

It was the next day, on Nov. 16, that Susie learned Sydney didn’t show up for work that day and her friends hadn’t heard from her either.

"She’s not the type of person who would have just not missed work, Susie said. “She would have told somebody. Having her friends contact us about it saying they were concerned made me concerned.”

Sydney’s manager at Menards, Leah Shaw, also testified to the same thing. She said Sydney was a very good employee who was reliable and helpful.

Shaw said she knew Sydney wasn’t going to work on Monday, Nov. 13 because she was struggling with depression. But when she saw Sydney at work on Nov.14 and Nov.15, she seemed like she was in a very good mood. On Nov. 16, Sydney didn’t show up for her 6:30 a.m. shift.

Shaw said this was very unusual.

She said she called Sydney’s phone twice, sent employees to drive by Sydney’s apartment and even went there herself after Shaw got off work on the 16th. When she got there, she found the police. Susie had called the Lincoln Police Department for a welfare check.

Lincoln Police Sergeant Tyler Cooper and Officer Joseph Yandrick were two of the officers on scene at the welfare check the night of Nov. 16. Sgt. Cooper testified that officers had to force entry to Sydney’s home in the Havelock neighborhood in Lincoln.

When they got inside, they didn’t find any signs of struggle or overdose. But Cooper said a few things stuck out as unusual.

“Her vehicle was still here, her purse was on the counter,” Cooper said. “We never found her wallet, keys or phone and normally those kinds of items are with purses. We tried to call her cell phone and it went straight to voicemail. I assumed she never made it home or left willingly at some point.”

After the welfare check, Lincoln Police Captain Jake Dilsaver testified that he assigned an officer to search in the area of Sydney’s home throughout the overnight hours of Nov. 16. He also performed a “ping” of her cellphone, which showed it was last used in Wilber about 24 hours ago. Dilsaver said he called Sydney’s family to ask if she had any known ties to Wilber and they said no.

Flinn, Sydney’s friend who she saw at the craft show, testified that she had talked with Sydney in the days before she went missing. Sydney told her she went on a date with a woman she met on Tinder named “Audrey.” Sydney sent Flinn a photo of “Audrey’s” Tinder profile, which Flinn passed onto the Loofe family.

Another witness to testify, was another of Sydney’s friends, Brooklyn McCrystal. McCrystal met Sydney when they both worked at Menards, they were very close friends. When McCrystal found out Sydney had disappeared after going on a Tinder date, she told prosecutors she took matters into her own hands. She got a hold of the photo of “Audrey,” who Sydney went on a date with and decided to create a Tinder profile to try and track her down.

“I wanted to match with her so I could find Sydney because I thought they had her,” McCrystal said. “I knew at that point something was wrong so I thought if I could meet up with this girl and act like I’m interested, it would lead me to Sydney and I could get her.”

On the morning of Nov. 17, McCrystal had matched with “Audrey” on Tinder, the two started talking and eventually McCrystal got a phone number. She turned that phone number over to the police.

Lincoln Police Investigator Cameron Cleland said he called it and talked to who he thought was “Audrey” on Nov. 16.

“Audrey” told Cleland she went on a date with Sydney the night of the 15th. She said they drove around, smoked marijuana and then she dropped Sydney off at a friends house near 56th and Cornhusker and never saw her again.

Cleland talked to “Audrey” again on Nov. 17, he said he knew she was being evasive and not telling the whole truth, so he took photos of “Audrey” to Wilber to try and find out who she was and where she lived.

Cleland also passed the phone number of “Audrey” to the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, where Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy Dillon Semrad, who had experience with tracking phone numbers, starting looking into who was behind the number.

Semrad said he was able to find out it was a fake “Pinger” phone number created by a third party app. He reached out to the app, “Pinger” and was able to find the IP addresses the phone used. He told the jury that using those IP addresses, he was able to find out it was a Verizon phone number, and eventually get the number and the name on the account. The prosecution said this would eventually tie that number back to Bailey Boswell, showing that she was the person behind the “Audrey” account.

The defense asked Deputy Semrad one question- whether or not you could tell who was using the phone at the time the messages were sent from the “Pinger” number, he said no.

Testimony wrapped up after Deputy Semrad.

The prosecution will continue calling witnesses Tuesday morning.

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