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Man accused of tampering with truck of missing Wisconsin brothers pleads not guilty

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The man charged in connection with a case linked to the disappearance of two brothers from Wisconsin pleaded not guilty to tampering with the brothers’ truck Monday morning.

Garland Joey Nelson waived formal arraignment in court Monday and entered a plea of not guilty to tampering with a motor vehicle.

Nelson was charged in July after authorities said he “knowingly and without the consent of the owner unlawfully operated an automobile,” specifically, the Ford F-250 truck rented by Nick and Justin Diemel.

The brothers rented the truck to drive to farms in Missouri to check cattle on a business trip.

That truck was found parked in a commuter lot in Holt, Missouri, with keys in the ignition after the Diemel brothers were reported missing.

Police reportedly used GPS information from the truck’s black box system to match the vehicle to one seen in footage taken by several security cameras.

Cameras at the hotel where the brothers last stayed showed the men signing out of their hotel room, after which point GPS then tracked the truck from the hotel to Nelson’s farm, where they arrived just before 9:30 a.m. July 21.

At 11:44 a.m., the truck left the farm again, and at 12:18 p.m., the truck was captured on a Casey’s General Store security camera traveling south of MO 13 Highway.

GPS matched with security camera time codes showed the truck turning south in front of a bank while cameras showed there appeared to be no passenger in the front seat of the truck — only the driver.

GPS data showed the truck passing in front of a business in Polo, Missouri, at 12:19 p.m. Security footage from that business also showed only one person in the truck.

GPS data showed the truck pulled into the Holt commuter lot off Interstate 35 at 12:45 p.m. The truck was left running with the keys in the ignition and the lights on.

Nelson reportedly admitted to driving the truck from his residence to the commuter lot in Holt.

While Nelson has been charged with moving the rental truck, no other changes have been filed in connection with the disappearance of Nick and Justin Diemel.

Clinton County Sheriff Larry Fish said the investigation into the disappearance of the brothers is officially a death investigation.

Authorities said human remains were discovered during the search of a Braymer farm weeks after the brothers’ disappearance.

The identity of those remains and the individual’s cause of death have yet to be determined.