Investigation Discovery’s ‘Signs Of A Psychopath: This is What I Chose to Be’ depicts how 24-year-old Sydney Loofe was murdered in a Wilber, Nebraska, apartment in mid-November 2017. The authorities arrested the perpetrators on unrelated charges within two weeks while discovering the victim’s remains almost a month after being reported missing. If you want to learn more about the case, including the killers’ identities and current whereabouts, here’s what we know.
How Did Sydney Loofe Die?
Sydney Irene Loofe was born to George and Susie Loofe in Broken Bow in Custer County, Nebraska, on August 21, 1993. Her parents raised her in Arcadia, along with her big brother, Levi, and little sister, MacKenzie. Sydney loved the outdoors — swinging on the tree swing, riding her bike to the pool, and sledding. When she was seven, the family moved to Neligh, Nebraska, where she went to Neligh-Oakdale Public Schools from second grade, where her dad was a principal, until her graduation in May 2011.
Susie recalled how her daughter was a tomboy who could “outfish most of her family” and always wanted to tag along on fishing trips with her father and brother. The Loofes fished near Yankton, South Dakota, on the Missouri River near Niobrara, and while vacationing in Valentine or Sioux Falls, South Dakota. George coached Sydney’s junior high basketball club team. A natural athlete, she was “a great baseline jumper” and played golf. Sadly, her active lifestyle ended in her teenage years when she developed scoliosis.
Following her 2011 graduation, Sydney worked for two years as a cashier at Menards in Norfolk before being transferred to the outlet near 27th Street and Cornhusker Highway. Eventually, she moved to Lincoln, joining her siblings. They fondly recalled how their sister, messy at times, had a kind and philanthropic side and helped multiple people during their tough times. Levi said, “Sydney was the poster person for caring more about others (than) she did herself.” She dreamed of wanting to move south and working with animals at a veterinary clinic in Colorado.
Sadly, the plans never came to fruition when the 24-year-old never reported to her work shift around 6:30 AM on November 16, 2017. Sydney’s employer and her family found the absence unusual, with her concerned mother calling the Lincoln Police Department for a welfare check. Three weeks later, the authorities would find some parts of her deceased remains disposed of in a black bag in a ditch along gravel roads north of Edgar, Nebraska, on December 4. Court testimonies stated the perpetrators choked Sydney to death on November 15.
Who Killed Sydney Loofe?
After Sydney did not report for work on November 16, her manager, Leah Shaw, and her parents were worried. Susie said, “She’s not the type of person who would have just not missed work. She would have told somebody. When her friends contacted us, saying they were concerned, it made me concerned.” The Lincoln police officers testified they had forced their way into Sydney’s Havelock neighborhood residence and found no signs of struggle or overdose. However, the authorities noticed a few things that struck out as unusual.
Lincoln Police Sergeant Tyler Cooper explained, “Her vehicle was still here, her purse was on the counter. We never found her wallet, keys, or phone — those items that are normally with purses. We tried to call her cell phone, and it went straight to voicemail. I assumed she never made it home or left willingly at some point.” The authorities then pinged the victim’s cellphone, which showed it was last used in Wilber around 24 hours ago, though her family stated they did not know of her or any known ties to the area.
Susie testified her daughter had spent the weekend visiting a craft fair in Neligh with family before she went missing. She also stated her daughter struggled with depression and had confided in them about her worsening mental health during the family trip. Moreover, the parents drove Sydney to Lincoln for her doctor’s appointment on November 13 before returning to Neligh. The distressed mother remarked that was the last time they had seen their daughter. Yet, they exchanged texts on November 14 and learned she was having a good day.
Sydney and Susie did not talk on November 15, but she saw her posting a selfie on Snapchat with the caption, “Ready for my date.” One of the 24-year-old’s childhood friends, Brittany Flinn, informed the police that the missing woman went on a date on November 14 with a woman named “Audrey,” whom she had met on Tinder. She had sent her friend a picture of this “Audrey,” which the latter passed on to the victim’s family and the authorities. Another of Sydney’s friends, Brooklyn McCrystal, scrolled through the online dating platform till she came across the profile.
Brooklyn testified she contacted “Audrey,” and the two started talking, and she got a phone number, which she passed on to the police. The investigators spoke with Sydney’s date, who claimed she went on a date with her on November 15. The woman alleged they drove around and smoked marijuana before she dropped the victim off at a friend’s house near 56th and Cornhusker and never saw her again. The police tracked her number and discovered it was from a fake “Pinger” phone number belonging to Bailey Marie Boswell, then 23.
The authorities also tracked the IP address to a Wilber residence leased by Bailey and her erstwhile boyfriend, Aubrey Clifton Trail, then 51. They executed a search warrant but found nothing odd except a strong, pungent smell of bleach. The authorities declared the couple as persons of interest on November 28, and the couple did a Facebook live in response and claimed their innocence. They were arrested in a motel in Branson, Missouri, on November 30 on unrelated fraud charges. Aubrey and Bailey were charged with Sydney’s murder on June 11, 2018.
Where Are Bailey Boswell and Aubrey Trail Now?
Lincoln police investigator Bob Hurley and FBI special agent Mike Maseth testified how a ground-breaking analysis of Bailey’s cellphone records eventually led them to Sydney’s remains in early December 2017. They recalled how the body was cut into 14 pieces and that 13 parts had been recovered in 17 locations. The body parts, sex toys, apparel, and other items had been wrapped in 30-gallon black plastic trash bags and scattered in roadside ditches in a rural area of Clay County in south-central Nebraska.
During the separate trials, the prosecution produced surveillance footage and multiple witnesses that incriminated Bailey and Aubrey in Sydney’s murder and dismemberment. CCTV footage of various departmental stores recorded them purchasing a tree saw, 30-gallon trash bags, and a couple of gallons of Clorox bleach before and after the murder. They also presented three women victims who claimed the duo desired to record victims as they tortured and killed them before profiting millions from the sales of these videos.
Aubrey eventually confessed to allegedly choking Sydney to death during the November 15 date when Bailey brought her to their Wilber apartment. He was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and improper disposal of human skeletal remains. He was sentenced to death in June 2021. Meanwhile, Bailey was convicted of the exact charges in October 2020 but received life without parole. Aubrey, 57, remains on death row at the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, whereas Bailey, 29, is incarcerated at the Nebraska Correctional Center for Women in York.