Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Missouri authorities have charged a 25-year-old man in the deaths of two brothers whose bodies were found burned and buried in a pile of manure on his property, authorities said.
Garland Nelson, a Braymer farmer, has been charged with a slew of crimes including two counts of first-degree murder, which comes with a sentence of death or life imprisonment without parole, for the deaths of Nick Diemel, 35, and Justin Diemel, 24, Caldwell County Sheriff Jerry Galloway announced during a press conference Wednesday outside the county courthouse in Kingston, some 55 miles north of Kansas City.
Nelson is accused of killing the brothers, who had been reported missing July 21 when they failed to make their return flight home to Milwaukee, Wis., Galloway said.
According to a probable cause statement, the brothers, who were in "a business venture" with Nelson, were in Missouri to meet him "regarding a financial issue."
"Based on the investigation, it is believed Nicholas and Justin Diemel never left the property after they arrived and were intentionally killed," Maj. Mitchell Allen of the Caldwell County sheriff's office wrote in the probable cause statement.
According to the document, Nelson is accused of shooting the men and putting their bodies in 55-gallon metal barrels before burning them with "an unknown liquid" and diesel fuel. He told investigators he then dumped the remains onto a pile of manure. The identities of the brothers were confirmed with DNA testing.
"Throughout the investigation [Nelson] provided hours of interviews with investigators and gave many misleading explanations and recollections of events in attempts to mislead law enforcement in locating Nicholas and Justin Diemel," Allen said in the statement.
The brothers' father, Jack Diemel, told police that his sons had visited Nelson to collect on a $250,000 debt.
Nelson has been in jail since July on charges of tampering for having allegedly driven the brothers' rental truck off his property 35 miles south to Holt where it was found abandoned.
Nelson has also been charged with two counts of armed criminal action, two counts of abandonment of a corpse, two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in connection to the brothers' deaths, Galloway said.
"This is an extremely complex case and has required the hard work of many officers and agencies joining together to investigate and solve this case," said Caldwell County Prosecuting Attorney Brady Kopek in a statement read by Galloway.