- Associated Press - Saturday, June 23, 2018

AUBURN, Neb. (AP) - A 36-year-old man charged with first-degree murder in the case of a missing Peru State College coed has pleaded not guilty.

Joshua Keadle entered the written plea Thursday in Nemaha County District Court. He’s charged in the disappearance and presumed death of 19-year-old Peru State College student Tyler “Ty” Thomas.

Keadle’s arraignment had been set for July 2, but his written plea waives that appearance. A trial date has not yet been set.

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 never been found.

Keadle is already serving prison sentence for the 2008 rape of a 15-year-old girl.

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