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A Decade After A Mom Vanished From Her Home, A Neighbor Has Been Arrested

Nancy Moyer's disappearance received increased attention after being covered in the true crime podcast "Hide and Seek."

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Local authorities have made new headway in the unsolved disappearance of Nancy Moyer, a single mother from Tenino, Washington, who vanished in 2009.

Moyer was reported missing on March 8, 2009, after her estranged husband went to drop off their two daughters at her home, only to discover that Moyer was nowhere to be found. Her purse and other belongings were located inside the house, and her car was parked outside, said the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office. Moyer, a financial analyst for the Washington State Department of Ecology, was last seen two days before on March 6, when she reportedly gave a co-worker a ride home before stopping at a grocery store and heading home herself, according to NBC News.

Although authorities suspected that foul play was involved, there were few leads, and the investigation hit a standstill until this week, when local law enforcement made an arrest. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said that “new information came to light” on Tuesday that led them to search a private residence in Rochester, Washington, near where Moyer used to live, according to a release. Working off of that tip, authorities took the owner of the home into custody, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said during a press conference on Thursday morning.

Nancy K. Moyer

The suspect was identified as Eric Lee Roberts, 53, according to local CBS affiliate KIRO 7. Snaza did not reveal the name during the press conference and also did not clarify if Roberts confessed to killing Moyer, but did say that the man, a neighbor of Moyer’s, “made some statements” that led authorities to “[act] on those statements” and search his residence.

Snaza confirmed Thursday that Moyer did work at the same place as the suspect at some point prior to her disappearance, but did not clarify if the suspect is the same co-worker that Moyer is alleged to have given a ride home to before she vanished.

Authorities did not find Moyer’s body, but did locate “items of evidence,” which have been sent to a crime lab for identification.

Nancy Moyer is scheduled to be the topic of CrowdSolve in Seattle on October 18 to 20. CrowdSolve, which aims to "help solve a case" or "contribute to an atmosphere where others with information would finally step forward," made a statement saying: "If that is what’s happened here then we have never been happier to change an event." Organizers noted that they may select a different case depending on developments. Oxygen is the official presenting sponsor of CrowdSolve.

Roberts was previously interviewed as a person of interest in the case. He is being held in the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder.  He is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday, July 11, reports KIRO 7.

Moyer’s case has gained increased attention in recent years through podcasts and other media. James Baysinger, host of the true crime podcast "Hide and Seek," suggested to KOMO News that their coverage of the Moyer case helped authorities break new ground.

“We’ve applied enough pressure where we’ve had new information come forward,” Baysinger said. “Also, now we're in a position where someone is coming forward saying they can't stand the guilt of what they've done and now they want to come forward and share what they've done.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Moyer’s estranged husband, Bill Moyer, said that Nancy Moyer’s loved ones are “cautiously optimistic.”

“We want to believe this is the end, but much like the press, until there’s a body, we’re not there yet,” he said.