(Lincoln, NE) -- Two people are charged in connection to the murder of a 23 year old Lincoln woman.
On Friday, the Lincoln Police Department announced that Joesef Barraza and Rachel Pageler have been charged in connection to the death of Carly Schaaf. Investigators say Schaaf was reported missing on May 19th, 2021. Family and friends of Carly indicated that no one had seen or spoken with Carly since May 17th. During this investigation, police say it was determined that personal items had been left in Carly’s home that were unusual for her to leave behind. Due to these suspicious circumstances, an investigation into Carly’s disappearance began. LPD says early on in the investigation, details emerged to suggest that Barraza may have been in contact with Carly around the time she went missing.
On June 4th, on an unrelated case, a federal search warrant was issued for the home of Barraza and Pageler. LPD says during the search of the home narcotics, a firearm, and additional evidence was seized. In this separate case, both Barraza and Pageler were charged with gun and narcotics violations and have been held in custody since that time.
Lincoln Police say during the investigation into Carly’s disappearance, officers obtained information that led to a search of the area around Pawnee Lake by the LPD and the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department. On June 10th, investigators located what was later confirmed to be Schaaf's body. On June 11th, an autopsy was performed, with the pathologist later ruling her death to be a homicide. LPD says during the investigation, additional evidence revealed that Barraza had sexually assaulted three different women, one of the victims being Schaaf.
Barraza is charged with 1st Degree Murder, Kidnapping and 3 counts of 1st Degree Sexual Assault. Pageler is charged with Kidnapping and Accessory to 1st Degree Murder.