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The Nebraska Attorney General's Office has been appointed special counsel in a Saline County weapons case against Aubrey Trail, whom law enforcement still considers a person of interest in the death of Lincoln woman Sydney Loofe.

Saline County Attorney Tad Eickman charged Trail on Nov. 21 with being a felon in possession of a gun and being a habitual criminal, according to court documents.

The charge came six days after Loofe disappeared in Lincoln, sparking a search for the 24-year-old Menards cashier that spanned the eastern half of Nebraska.

That charge has since been dismissed after prosecutors took no action on it and Trail moved to force the case to go to trial within 180 days.

Trail, 51, and his girlfriend, Bailey Boswell, 24, lived in Wilber but left town after Loofe went missing after going on a date with Boswell on Nov. 15.

Loofe's remains were found Dec. 4 in rural Clay County, and authorities suspect foul play in her death.

This special prosecutor marks the latest development in an unusual death investigation.

Eickman referred questions about the case Thursday to the attorney general's office.

Suzanne Gage, a spokeswoman for the Nebraska Attorney General's Office, said attorneys there have been working closely with Eickman, prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Lancaster County Attorney's Office on the investigation into Trail and Boswell since their arrests.

"As a result, our appointment as special prosecutor in the Saline County case was a natural extension of our ongoing partnership with the other agencies involved in this investigation," Gage said.

Gage noted that the charges in Saline County were dismissed in a way that allows prosecutors to refile them at any time.

"At this time it is prudent to allow the federal case to proceed," she said.

Earlier this year, the Lancaster County Attorney's Office appointed its first-ever special investigator to look into the death of Loofe, who was reported missing to Lincoln police.

In February, Trail told the Journal Star and other media outlets he accidentally caused Loofe's death, but no criminal charges have been filed against him to date.

Federal prosecutors have filed fraud charges against Trail and Boswell, alleging they devised a fraudulent scheme involving a gold coin that bilked a Kansas couple out of $400,000, according to court documents.

The investigation into Loofe's disappearance unearthed the alleged scheme, FBI agents said in court documents.

Both Boswell and Trail have pleaded not guilty to the charges, but Trail has indicated he wishes to change his plea. A hearing set for Thursday was postponed until April 5.

Trail's attorney has declined to comment on what his client, who is facing 14 charges, would plead to.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.

Reporter

Riley Johnson reports on breaking news and public safety issues in Lincoln and southeast Nebraska.

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