Animal mistreatment charges filed against Missouri man tied to missing Shawano County brothers
FORT SCOTT, Kan. - A Missouri man arrested in connection with the disappearance of two Wisconsin brothers faces more charges filed in Kansas accusing him of transporting disease-infected domestic animals and endangering their food supply.
Garland Joseph Nelson, 25, was charged Aug. 2 in Bourbon County, Kansas, on allegations that he mistreated livestock May 1, according to Kansas court records.
Nelson is already in jail in Missouri, following his arrest last month on charges of tampering with a rental vehicle used by the Wisconsin brothers the morning they went missing. Authorities later found human remains on the farm Nelson operated in Braymer, Missouri.
Nicholas Diemel, 34, and Justin Diemel, 24, of Shawano County, were reported missing after they failed to make their July 21 return flight to Wisconsin from a business trip in Clinton and Caldwell counties in Missouri. The brothers own Diemel's Livestock in Navarino.
Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish said investigators searching for the brothers found human remains July 30 on Nelson's farm. Officials have not yet said whether the remains were identified as either of the brothers, but police shifted their focus from a missing-persons case to a death investigation the week after the Diemels disappeared.
Nelson's latest charges appear to be connected to allegations made by Kansas farmer David Foster, who told KCTV5 News that he had a business deal that went bad with Nelson, involving around 100 calves from the brothers' company. Nelson was responsible for raising 131 calves until they were ready for Foster to sell, the station reported.
However, there were many "multiple emaciated and thin calves" when Nelson dropped off 35 calves at Foster's dairy farm, according to a USDA report cited by KCTV5 News.
Nelson is being held at the Caldwell County jail in Missouri without bond on the felony vehicle tampering charge. He is expected to appear in Bourbon County District Court Sept. 4 for the animal mistreatment charges.
His next scheduled court appearance for the tampering charge is a preliminary hearing Sept. 16. In that case, he is accused of driving the rental truck from his property without consent and abandoning it in a commuter parking lot in Holt, Missouri.