A couple on trial over the murder of a woman they met on Tinder discussed making a video in which a person is killed, a US court has heard.
Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail are on trial in Nebraska over the murder of 24-year-old Sydney Loofe.
The court heard overnight from a third woman – who was friends with Ms Boswell and Mr Trail – that the pair had discussed how much money they could earn from making a video in which a person was killed or tortured.
Ms Loofe had disappeared after a Tinder date with Ms Boswell, never to be seen or heard from again – until a Lincoln Police investigator tracked down her remains by following electronic bread crumbs of Ms Boswell’s and Mr Trail’s phones.
As hope faded they would find Ms Loofe alive, Officer Bob Hurley started plotting points where their phones had pinged or “shook hands with” cellphone towers to see where they may have stopped to dump a body.
But investigators had little warning of what they would find.
On December 4, 2017, a chilly day with gusting winds, more than 50 law enforcement officers headed out to Clay County to try to cover a 30-square-mile stretch by foot, searching for clues.
Mr Hurley sent them north of County Road 308 and Road S near Edgar where, based on phone records, it looked as if Ms Boswell and Mr Trail had slowed or stopped.
Within minutes, Cory Townsend of the Nebraska State Patrol called back and said he had found something, Mr Hurley recalled.
That’s where they found a black plastic bag with arms, including part of a right arm with a tattoo, “It will all be wonderful someday.”
“Was that the first body part that was found?” Assistant Attorney General Mike Guinan asked.
“Yes,” Mr Hurley answered.
Mr Townsend said searchers had stopped in the first conceivable place someone could conceal a body, a cattail slough, then made a picket line and quickly started finding things they thought could be something.
A portion of a map. A sheet or shower curtain with stains that could be blood.
Then, one of the officers, still on the gravel and looking into the ditch, said: “Hey, I’ve got something here.”
Mr Townsend headed over to where he was.
“This is what I saw. It’s a bag that was partially torn open with human remains protruding from the bag,” he said.
Because it soon would be dark and the wind was so fierce they could barely hear each other, they secured the scene and waited until morning to continue with the recovery, FBI Special Agent Eli McBride said.
Overnight he spent more than two hours on the stand, testifying about each of 17 scenes where they found body parts or other evidence, like clothes, garbage bag boxes and a tarp, during searches all day December 5, 2017.
Prosecutors offered photos from each scene, where orange flags marked bags and severed body parts, which had been found on both sides of Road S and off Road 305.
The defence had unsuccessfully tried to keep the gruesome photos from going in front of the jury.
Ms Boswell wiped away tears as Mr McBride stood before the jury, pointing to a part of his leg to demonstrate the part of Ms Loofe’s leg seen in the picture.
In all, he said, Ms Loofe’s body had been cut into 14 pieces.
They recovered all but one, a piece of her upper left arm.