AUBURN, Neb. — A judge has ruled that prosecutors have presented enough evidence to try a man for first-degree murder in the case of a Peru State College coed who went missing more than seven years ago.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports the ruling came Tuesday in the case of 36-year-old Joshua Keadle, accused of killing 19-year-old Tyler “Ty” Thomas.

Thomas disappeared Dec. 3, 2010, after leaving a party near the Peru State campus. Authorities say Keadle, a fellow student, told them he and Thomas had sex in his vehicle that night, and that Thomas threatened to report he had raped her.

The state issued a death certificate for Thomas in 2013, even though her body has not been found.

Keadle’s defense attorney had argued that without a body, there wasn’t enough evidence to even show Thomas had been murdered.

Keadle, already in prison for the 2008 rape of a 15-year-old girl, will be arraigned April 16.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com