Police search storage unit rented by sister of murdered Abilene realtor


ABILENE, Texas - Abilene police have searched a storage unit rented by the sister of murdered Abilene realtor Tom Niblo.

According to the search warrant signed Jan. 13, police went to TurnKey Storage in the 4200 block of N. 1 st St. looking for evidence of the Dec. 12 murder. RELATED: Court docs provide new details about morning of Abilene realtor's murder

Niblo was shot eight times at his home in the 3700 block of Woodridge Drive. As of Jan. 13, the murder weapon, a .40 caliber pistol, had not been located.

Niblo's brother-in-law, Luke Sweetser, is a suspect in the murder.

Police found the rental contract for the storage unit, which was signed by Ellouise Sweetser, NIblo's sister, when they searched the Sweetser's home on Jan. 12.

Police also located and seized journals from the home. The journals, which police believe were written by Luke Sweetser, are similar to those found when police searched an office suite at 104 Pine St. used by the Luke and Ellouise Sweetser. According to police, the journals had "nude and disturbing pornographic photos and images cut and pasted through(out)."

The journals also contain "ideas, goals, beliefs, important events, dates, plans, assessments, introspective self-talk, encouragement, admonishments, disappointments, values, mentalities, achievements, objectives, accomplishments, successes, failures, meanderings, and thoughts."

The last entry in the journals taken from the Sweetser's home was dated Dec. 6. It made reference to Niblo. The search warrant does not go into any further detail about that.

In the search warrant for the storage unit, police said they believe footwear belonging to Luke Sweetser could be stored there. They want to compare it to a shoe print found on the bathroom door at Niblo's house. Police believe the suspect tried to kick in the bathroom door after shooting Niblo. His wife, Cheryl, was in the bathroom but escaped the house unharmed.

Detectives also issued used subpoenas for the Sweetser's financial records. During the investigation, they found "numerous monetary transactions associated with accounts belonging to Luke and Ellouise that are often large-sum transactions of money with unknown reason."

Police said they believe financial papers are believed to be kept at the storage unit on N. 1st St.

No arrests have been made for Niblo's murder. Luke Sweetser was released from the Taylor County jail on Jan. 13 after a judge reduced his bond from $400,000 to $75,000. He is charged with theft of the stolen guns found during the course of the murder investigation.