BRAYMER, MO (KCTV) -- A Kansas farmer is sharing details about a man connected to the disappearance of two missing brothers from Wisconsin.
Several law enforcement agencies have searched since July 21 after Nick Diemel, 35, and his 24-year-old brother Justin Diemel, missed their flight home after visiting northwest Missouri on a trip for the livestock business they operate in Bonduel, Wisconsin.
Garland Joseph Nelson, 25, of Braymer, was charged Friday with tampering with a vehicle. Charging documents indicate Nelson abandoned the Diemel brothers' rental truck in a commuter parking lot.
Nelson had also been doing business with several other farmers, including David Foster.
Foster, who runs a dairy operation near Fort Scott, Kan., shared his story with KCTV5 in hopes of shedding a light on what it was like to work with Nelson.
“I thought we were friends” Foster said.
The two cattlemen first met in 2018, when Nelson contacted Foster about a metal shed he had for sale through one of his companies, Cash Cow Enterprises.
Nelson offered to tear the building down himself and reassemble it on his own farm.
“He was asking if he could be the subcontractor,” Foster explained. “That way he could trade some of the labor for the building.”
The two men soon began talking on the phone on a regular basis. They entered another agreement with a pair of refrigerated trailers, then partnered on a cattle venture.
“Our arrangement was that I was going to purchase the calves,” Foster said. “He was going to feed and raise them and when they got to weaning weight we were going to sell them and split the profit.”
Over the winter things started to go sour between the two partners. Foster told KCTV5 that Nelson had stopped making payments on the building he had bought and the trailers he’d leased. The cattle deal had also been going poorly.
“It came time to be due for them to be weaned and sold and he was coming up with all these excuses and stories as to why he hadn't sold them,” Foster said.
Eventually Foster began recording his phone conversations with Nelson. In one recording, Nelson says that he doesn’t have the money to pay Foster.
He also mentions, “the guys from Wisconsin,” and tells Foster he is on the verge of harming himself or someone else.
“I was ready to visit [Nelson] face to face,” Foster told KCTV5, “and tell him we needed to count cattle.”
Instead, Nelson showed up at Foster’s dairy with roughly 35 of the cattle 131 cattle and dropped them off in one of his pastures.
Foster took pictures of the cattle, which appeared malnourished and diseased.
A USDA inspector noted in a report:
“Calves appear to be under weight and size for 5-6 month old calves Multiple emaciated and thin calves were noted as well. Most calves had ringworm.”
Foster told KCTV5 that he does not know what happened to the remaining cattle he purchased, but that he suspects they died in Nelson’s care.
“That's not a herdsman, that's not a feedlot owner, that's not a farmer,” Foster said. “Apparently [Nelson] doesn't know what he was doing. That's not normal.”
Eventually the two men stopped talking. Foster began reaching out to Nelson’s other business contacts, including the Diemels. He found out that Wisconsin brothers had a separate partnership with Nelson, and that the livestock company was also frustrated.
But Foster never did visit Nelson’s farm in Braymer. He said he felt duped and cheated by Nelson, who he once thought of as a friend.
He also wondered what might have happened if he had made the trip to Nelson’s operation.
“It’s pretty simple,” Nelson said. “It could have been me. Because I could have been in that position.”