SEYMOUR, Wis. -- An 11-year-old boy sold his pig for more than $10,000 at auction at the Outagamie County Fair to benefit the family of two Wisconsin brothers believed to be deceased after a business trip to Missouri.
Nick Diemel, 35, and his brother, Justin Diemel, 24, missed their flight home after visiting northwest Missouri on a trip for the livestock business they operate in Bonduel. Authorities have called the case a "long-term death investigation," but have not indicated why they believe the brothers are dead.
Callaway County Sheriff Jerry Galloway said Monday, July 29 the search was complicated by rains and the length of time the brothers have been missing -- since July 21.
At the Outagamie County Fair, 11-year-old Mason Gorecki's hog was sold for $10,332 -- more than three times the average pig. The money would benefit the Diemel family.
"(Mason) came to us, asking us, as a livestock committee if he'd be able to sell his extra hog, and donate it completely to the family," Green told WLUK. "A lot of us in the area know the Diemels really well."
Green said it was powerful to witness.
"Very emotional," Green told WLUK. "The auctioneers broke down."
"I started asking $3, just like everything else," Scott Doyle, auctioneer, told WLUK.
The price just kept rising.
"The signs came up almost like a schoolteacher asking kids, 'Who wants a piece of candy?'" said Doyle.
Like everyone in attendance, Doyle said he was moved by the amount of people bidding.
"Just to watch what this kid did -- then, the support," said Doyle. "Just, everybody wanted to help. I don’t get really, really teary-eyed, but I’ll call it sweat in my eyes. How about that?"
All of the money went to the Diemel family. Both the seller and purchaser waived their processing fees, WLUK reported.
Others in the area were also working to support the family. According to WLUK, the Navarino Rangers raised $7,000 at their game on Sunday, July 28 for the family, and they also planned to donate money raised during their annual June golf outing. WLUK reported Nick Diemel coached Little League, and his child played in town.
Porter's Patch in Bonduel planned to donate proceeds from anything sold on Thursday, Aug. 1 to the family.
Fox Cities Embroidery was selling clothing and other merchandise to benefit the family.
Garland Joseph Nelson, 25, of Braymer, Missouri, was charged Friday, July 26 with tampering with a vehicle in the case. Charging documents indicate Nelson abandoned the Diemel brothers' rental truck in a commuter parking lot after they visited one of his farm operations.
Nelson has been held without bond at the Caldwell County Detention Center. During his first appearance Monday, a judge denied his request for bond change and scheduled another hearing for Thursday.
In a probable cause statement, a Caldwell County sheriff's deputy wrote that Nicholas Diemel rented a Ford truck July 20 in northwest Missouri. Sheriff's deputies found the truck July 22 in a commuter parking lot near Holt.
GPS used to track the truck showed it leaving a Comfort Inn in Cameron, Missouri, on the morning of July 21 and arriving a short time later at an address where Nelson conducts farm operations. More than two hours later, the truck left the farm and eventually arrived at the commuter lot, where it was left with the keys in the ignition and the lights on, according to court documents.
Nelson admitted he left it there, according to the charging document.
Nelson was sentenced in 2016 to two years in prison for selling more than 600 head of cattle that he didn't own. Federal prosecutors said at the time that Nelson pleaded guilty to cattle fraud that caused more than $262,000 in losses. He was released from prison in March 2018.
According to WDAF, Nelson's mother is a Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church in Braymer, Missouri. Nelson's family was in the pews on Sunday, and his mother was in her usual role, leading Sunday School.
Pastor Ronnie Foley offered these words in his Sunday sermon:
"One week ago today, a terrible tragedy unfolded in our community. We are still living with the aftermath of that tragedy and apparently will be doing so for quite some time.
As the pastor of First Baptist Church it is my duty to remind you of a number of things.
First, none of us knows the truth of what happened last Sunday, much less the whole truth. The second most un-Christian thing we can do is rush to judgement concerning a matter that we know very little about.
The first most un-Christian thing that we can to is to gossip about it. If you want to think about the situation, do so in prayer before God. If you want to talk about it, do so in prayer to God.
Second, the Bible is clear that we each one will stand before God and be judged on what we have done. God does not hold the fathers accountable for the sins of the sons nor the sons accountable for the sins of the fathers.
Once the truth is revealed, justice can be served based on the actions and responsibilities of those involved.
Do not seek to hold accountable anyone for the actions of their family members, especially so before the truth is fully revealed.
Third, remember that there are two families today that are deeply hurting. Regardless of exactly who did what, many innocent people have had their lives turned upside down by the actions of others – actions that were completely outside of their control.
Pray for the Diemel family in their time of loss and unanswered questions. Pray also for Joey Nelson’s family as they have also experienced a loss and have just as many unanswered questions.
Fourth, one of those families is a part or our church family. Some of us are related to them by marriage, some by blood and all by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is our privilege and responsibility to minister to them and provide them a safe haven as they grieve and try to heal.
Be the Christians that you claim to be.
Last, pray for the truth, the whole truth to be revealed. Pray for the leadership of the Holy Spirit upon those within the investigation. Pray that God will shine His light of truth into the dark corners of this tragedy and bring everything into the light.
Pray that those who know what really happened will step forward or be found and tell what they know. Pray that the investigators will find conclusive evidence that proves beyond any doubt the details of the whole story.
God is a God of truth. Jesus said, 'I am the Way the Truth and the Life.' Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the 'Spirit of Truth.' Pray for the truth."