Washington Mom Of 2 Vanishes After "A Date With Danger"
TENINO, WA — The last time anyone saw 36-year-old Nancy Moyer, she was on her way to her home in Tenino, Washington, on March 6, 2009.
Nancy, a mother of two daughters, had a demanding career as a financial analyst for the Washington State Department of Ecology. After work, Nancy dropped off a coworker, stopped by a market to buy a few things, then headed toward her house.
What happened next remains a mystery.
On March 9, Nancy’s ex-husband, Bill Moyer, returned his daughters to their mom’s home from his weekend custody. But there was no sign of Nancy.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Detective Ben Elkins described Nancy as a “private person” who stayed by herself with her kids.
On the outside, Nancy’s life looked perfect. But friends and family say, Nancy, after starting work and having a family young, had begun to feel as though she missed out on life experience.
Eventually, Bill and Nancy divorced. But, according to Bill, even after the split, they stayed close for the sake of the children.
After the breakup of her marriage, Nancy began going and socializing more — and she also began dating.
“She was very pretty, very bubbly. People were instantly attracted to her,” Nancy’s work colleague Bev Poston said.
Bill began to become alarmed when he noticed that her purse was still in the house, along with her cell phone and car keys.
He began calling Nancy’s friends and coworkers but soon discovered that no one had seen her.
Finally, Bill called the police, who began canvassing the area and working on a timeline of the night Nancy vanished.
Detective Dave Haller, who is retired from Thurston County Sheriff’s office, confirmed that an officer who was running radar in that area saw a woman whom he believed was Nancy returning from a store with items in bags.
Thurston County police found the front door of the house open, the TV left on, and a half glass of wine on the coffee table.
But they found no sign of a struggle inside the home.
The glasses and wine bottle were sent to the crime lab, but the only fingerprints found were Nancy’s.
Investigators listened to answering-machine messages and found one that mentioned a date.
Meanwhile, word of Nancy’s disappearance was spreading.
Nancy’s colleague Bev Poston said that Nancy was never late to work. When she heard that her family could not find Nancy, she said that her state of mind “went from a bad feeling to a feeling of dread that something horrible had happened to her.”
By examining a utility bill and noticing the period of time during which it spiked, police were able to figure out when the door had been opened.
This detail helped to narrow the window of Nancy’s disappearance to Friday night or Saturday morning.
Investigators also found out that Nancy was over $50,000 in debt. They questioned whether she could have gone missing to escape her financial responsibilities.
But ultimately, they developed a theory that Nancy had most likely been the victim of foul play.
Authorities have questioned a number of individuals in connection with the case, including Bill.
Bill was ruled out as a suspect, and so were several other men who were seen with Nancy. But authorities discovered liaisons that Nancy had been keeping private, and said that this made it difficult to find people to question.
Some of the men who had short-term liaisons with Nancy aroused detectives’ suspicions. One man, James, told Detective Haller that he had had an intimate encounter with Nancy in the past, but said that he had been unable to perform — so they did not have intercourse.
James said that on the night in question, he saw the door slightly open and went inside to look for Nancy.
Police were suspicious: Why would James walk inside a home where he had never been before to look around? James took a polygraph exam, which came back inconclusive.
Haller wondered if James had admitted to touching a doorknob “to cover his tracks if he was involved.”
Investigators got another potential lead when they found a woman’s dead body in a sleeping bag in the back of a pickup truck. The killer was a man named Bernard Howell.
One of Nancy’s daughters later identified Howell as a man who came to their house and sold steak door to door — but no definitive link has been proven.
Howell pleaded guilty to killing his victim, 60-year-old Vonda Boone, 60, on the Yelm-Tenino Trail. He was sentenced to 26 years and eight months in prison.
Detective Elkins went back and re-interviewed James, and stated that this time James claimed that he hadhad full intercourse with Nancy.
The switch in story details seemed suspicious but, once again, police felt that they did not have enough to go on.
The case is still open and active, but police admit that over the years tips have become fewer and father between.
Meanwhile, Nancy’s family struggles for answers. Nancy’s daughter Samantha Moyer admitted that she had a complete breakdown in junior high school.
“Is she dead? Is she in some guy’s basement being tortured?” Samantha remembers wondering.
Nancy Moyer is around five feet tall with dark hair and brown eyes. She has several tattoos, including this design (left) on her upper back.
Police have asked anyone with information regarding Nancy’s case to call the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at (360) 786-5279.
If you are in search of a missing person, make sure to enter their information into the database of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.
For more on Nancy Moyer’s case, watch the “A Date With Danger” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Disappeared on ID GO now!