OMAHA, Neb. - A man considered a "person of interest" in the disappearance of a Peru State College student pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges in an unrelated rape case.
Nemaha County District Judge Daniel Bryan Jr. set an April 13 trial for Joshua Keadle, 29, who’s originally from Swansea, S.C.
Keadle faces three counts of sexual assault and one count each of false imprisonment and terroristic threats in the alleged assault of an 18-year-old student on Halloween.
Charges in the assault case were filed after Keadle’s arrest last month in the disappearance of Tyler "Ty" Thomas, another Peru State student. The freshman from Bellevue was last seen leaving an off-campus party on Dec. 3. Authorities spent more than a week searching for her in an area along the Missouri River.
Court documents show that Keadle, who has been suspended from Peru State, is suspected of providing false information and tampering with evidence in the investigation of Thomas’ disappearance, but no formal charges have been filed. The sheriff’s office has called him a person of interest in the case.
Nemaha County Attorney Louie Ligouri said Wednesday that Keadle’s involvement in the disappearance is still under investigation and that formal charges won’t be filed until after the results of evidence testing are known. He declined to elaborate.
Keadle was being held Wednesday in the Nemaha County jail. Bail in the assault case has been set at $750,000.