For more than an hour on Tuesday, jurors and the public heard what Joshua Keadle said happened the night Tyler “Ty” Thomas went missing after a night of partying at Peru State College in December 2010.
Keadle told investigators about how one day he would be cool with Ty and the next, she wouldn’t talk to him.
Keadle admitted to seeing Thomas walking near campus on December 3, but said he stayed in his room for the rest of the night except to run to his car. He said he learned she was missing from her friends in the dorms.
“I think she did this at first for attention but now I can’t say that... because of the magnitude it is,” Keadle said in an interview recorded three days after Thomas disappeared.
When asked if he thought Thomas was still alive, he said,” Yeah, why would I not think that?”
After time passed, Keadle admitted to going to the river to smoke marijuana at about 2 a.m., the night Thomas went missing. He claimed he didn’t see her and smoked alone but investigators didn’t buy it.
In the same 2010 interview, the investigator asked Keadle why his GPS would have her down by the river. Keadle replied, “I have no clue. You’re asking me like I picked her up and took her down to the river...me and her....she was not in my car. She’s been in my car but was she in my car that night? No.”
Later in the interview that hasn’t played in court, prosecutors say Keadle admitted to taking Thomas to the river but claims he left her there alive.
“There was a lot of information that we found out at a later time that would show Mr. Keadle’s testimony was evolving as it went along,” said Nebraska State Patrol Lt. Monty Lovelace.
During the interview, Keadle admitted that he did give Thomas rides before to get food, to go to the convenience store and back to the dorms but didn’t feel it was necessary to give her a ride when she didn’t have a coat the night she went missing.
Two people involved in the search and rescue efforts testified about searching the river and woods for Thomas. They didn’t find her but they were able to locate tire tracks along the Missouri River Bank. Prosecutors will likely discuss if they’re connected to Keadle’s SUV.
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