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Authorities Don’t Have Enough Evidence Yet To Charge Man In 10-Year-Old Killing Of Missing Mother

Police say Eric Roberts initially confessed to the killing of Nancy Moyer, then recanted, so their still in the process of gathering evidence against him.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Nancy K. Moyer

Prosecutors are not yet pressing charges against a man they suspect may be responsible for the disappearance and presumed death of Nancy Moyer, a single mother who vanished from her Washington state home 10 years ago.

Authorities arrested Eric Roberts after he called 911 on July 9 and made “incriminating statements implicating himself in the disappearance and presumed homicide of Nancy Moyer,” the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release issued Monday. Roberts made additional statements suggesting his involvement in the crime when speaking to investigators, but later recanted his statements, the release states.

While investigators are continuing to collect and analyze evidence related to Roberts’ original claims, the prosecuting attorney’s office “has elected to delay filing any charges related to the homicide investigation until the investigation is complete and all evidence can be fully considered,” according to the sheriff’s office.

Authorities initially arrested Roberts on suspicion of murder, but after the terms of his bail expired on Monday, he was re-arrested that same day for unrelated weapons violations, the release states.

Moyer, a 36-year-old mother of two daughters, was last seen on March 6, 2009 when she is believed to have given a ride home to a co-worker at the Washington State Department of Ecology, where she worked as a financial analyst. Her estranged husband discovered that she was missing two days later when he brought their two children back to her home and discovered the front door ajar. Moyer was gone, but her car and purse were left behind. Although authorities suspected foul play, her body was never found.

When speaking to authorities last week, Roberts, 53, allegedly admitted to accidentally strangling Moyer to death during “rough sex” and then suggested that he may have disposed of her body on his property, according to a KING 5 report that does not include Roberts’ name.

He later recanted those statements and said that he did not know why he made them, the outlet reports.

Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza said during a press conference Thursday that a suspect who lived near Moyer and who worked at the same place as her had been arrested in relation to her disappearance. He did not mention Roberts by name then but did confirm that the investigation is ongoing.  

Moyer’s estranged husband Bill Moyer reacted to news that Roberts would not be charged in a statement obtained Monday by KING 5.

“We are disappointed that charges will not be able to be filed, but at the same time, I understand if we are not there yet in the process,” he said. “I think we need to give law enforcement the opportunity to complete the process. The last thing the family wants to see is them do anything prematurely that might jeopardize the case. We are very pleased with what we have seen out of law enforcement at this point.”

The Nancy Moyer case 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 after Roberts' arrest 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.