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Boswell, Trail never returned to apartment after police searched it, landlord says
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Boswell, Trail never returned to apartment after police searched it, landlord says

From the What you missed this week in notable Southeast Nebraska crimes and court cases series
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Alan Koll said when Aubrey Trail and Bailey Boswell showed up to look at the basement apartment of his Wilber home on West Seventh Street on a summer day in 2017, Trail did most of the talking.

He described Boswell, the one on trial now for Sydney Loofe's murder whom he identified for the jury as the lady at the end of the table, as "shy, I guess." Koll just remembered her saying few words that day.

Koll testified Tuesday at Boswell's trial in Lexington.

Trail was more talkative, for sure, he said.

But Koll said he wouldn't say Trail seemed "more controlling" that June day they answered the ad about the rental. He remembered Trail asking Boswell if they should rent the place. 

Koll said Trail told him they were antiques dealers moving their business from Falls City to Lincoln. 

For the next 5 1/2 months, Koll and his wife, Jennifer, lived upstairs, and Trail and Boswell in the apartment downstairs. 

Koll said there were times he could hear Trail's voice in the basement from upstairs. He was a loud talker. 

Sydney Loofe's mom testifies at Boswell murder trial about her daughter's last days

"I can't say that I ever heard yelling or screaming," he said. 

Not even late Nov. 15, 2017, or early the next morning, when Jennifer Koll and her son, Dayton He, who lived in a separate apartment in the basement, started to notice a strong odor of bleach, so strong it made Jennifer Koll, who is allergic, sick to her stomach. 

She said that morning, Nov. 16, she had taken her daughter to Lincoln to get her braces taken off and remembers pulling into the garage.

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"I could smell it immediately," she said.

A Clorox odor was consuming the whole upstairs of the house. Jennifer Koll said she had to open up all the windows and doors despite the chilly late-fall weather. And she noticed the farther down the stairs she went, the stronger the smell got.

When investigators went there Nov. 18 to do a welfare check looking for Loofe, they still noticed the smell. The missing 24-year-old Lincoln woman's cellphone had pinged at a tower at Wilber on the night of Nov. 15 while on a date with Boswell, and the trail was leading to the house on West Seventh Street.

As trial begins, Bailey Boswell's attorney tells jurors the state has a 'weak case'

Lincoln Police Detective Matt Franken said the nature of Loofe's disappearance already was concerning.

"That, coupled with the strong smell of bleach in the house, was very suspicious to us," he told the jury.

After police came, the Kolls said they never saw Trail or Boswell at the apartment again.

Investigators ultimately tracked them down at a hotel near Branson, Missouri, and would find Loofe's remains Dec. 4, cut up and left in garbage bags in ditches along rural Nebraska roads.

Prosecutors later charged Boswell with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and unlawful disposal of human remains. 

Trail, who was convicted at trial last year, is awaiting a sentencing hearing, where the state is seeking the death penalty. 

Photos from Aubrey Trail's trial

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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