(Neb.)-Hemingford Woman To Stand Trial On Murder Accessory Charge
(ALLIANCE)-A Hemingford woman will stand trial on a charge of being an accessory to a felony in association with the death of former Alliance resident Josh Bullock. Following a two-hour long hearing Tuesday afternoon in Box Butte County Court, which included five women in the gallery donning red “Justice for Josh” T-shirts, Judge Russ Harford bound 19-year-old Rose Siefke over to District Court.
Siefke’s charge stems from her association with 27-year-old Andy Gonzales, who told law enforcement during a June 12th standoff at Thiele (Tee-Lee) Pharmacy and Gifts that he had killed the 38-year-old Bullock and buried his body in rural Dawes County.
Bullock was reported missing on December 1st. His burned out pickup truck was located December 14th and his body was found in a shallow grave southwest of Chadron in mid-June.
The only person to testify during the hearing was Keith Drinkwalter, a criminal investigator with the Nebraska State Patrol. Drinkwalter told the court that during initial contacts with Siefke in January and April, she denied knowing anything about Bullock’s disappearance. However, following Gonzales’ June 12th death during a shootout with a Nebraska State Patrol SWAT team, Siefke met with Drinkwalter on June 13th and confessed that she knew of the details surrounding Bullock’s death.
Drinkwalter testified that Siefke shared with him that she had found Bullock’s dead body in the Gonzales’ home at 472 Cody Avenue on December 1st. She stated that Gonzales threatened to harm her if she didn’t help him hide the body. Gonzales loaded Bullock’s body in Bullock’s pickup and drove it to a remote area southwest of Chadron while Siefke drove a separate vehicle. Gonzales then set the pickup on fire with Bullock’s body still inside the truck.
The couple then drove back to Alliance and two days later returned to the burned vehicle and removed Bullock’s remains. They then drove to a remote area five miles south of Chadron where Gonzales buried Bullock’s remains in a shallow grave.
In mid June, Siefke took Drinkwalter to the area where the body was buried. Efforts to find Bullock’s remains failed since they had entered the area from a different direction than what was used the night the remains were buried. Law enforcement returned to the area a week later with Siefke and Bullock’s remains buried 18 inches underground.
During cross-examination with defense attorney Larry Miller, Drinkwalter confirmed that Siefke had stated that Gonzales was a controlling man who threatened to kill Siefke if she didn’t help him hide Bullock’s body. She stated that Gonzales carried a handgun most of the time.
Siefke also told Drinkwalter that Gonzales had killed his father on the night of June 10th, a day-and-a-half before the Thiele’s incident. The body of Larry Gonzales was found in his home on June 12th.
Other Drinkwalter testimony that was shared during the hearing:
-- Both Gonzales and Siefke were selling marijuana for Bullock, and Bullock often carried large amounts of cash.
-- An acquaintance of the couple, Larry Schwartz of North Platte, told Drinkwalter in a May 31st interview that Siefke had told him about the drug activity and that Gonzales had killed Bullock in Alliance and taken his body to the Pine Ridge Area. Schwartz also told Drinkwalter that Gonzales had told Schwartz that he planned to conduct a drug robbery at Thiele’s, take hostages and shoot police officers.
-- Police had received several tips from citizens that believed Siefke and Gonzales were somehow associated with Bullock’s disappearance and that everything police had pointed to the couple.
-- Phone records revealed that between November 23rd and December 1st, Siefke and Bullock had communicated 323 times via cell phone calls and text messages, but that communication ceased on December 1st, the day Bullock was last seen alive.
Siefke remains free on $50,000 bond. Her first district court appearance is scheduled for August 8th.
--Courtesy of Kevin Horn, KCOW
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