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Can A Group Of Strangers Solve The Cold Cases Of Nancy Moyer And Karen Bodine?

This October, CrowdSolve attendees and law enforcement experts will deep-dive into two Washington cold cases to help develop new leads.

By Aly Vander Hayden
5 Infamous Cold Cases of Murder

For more than 10 years, the community of Thurston County, Washington, has been haunted by the cold cases of Nancy Moyer and Karen Bodine. Both young mothers, Moyer vanished from her Tenino home in 2009 and has yet to be found, while Bodine was discovered murdered alongside a Rochester highway in 2007. 

Although there has been some recent movement in Moyer’s disappearance, the two cases remain unsolved to this day, and their families are left looking for answers. 

In the hope of generating fresh leads and potentially gaining new insight, CrimeCon executive producer Kevin Balfe has launched CrowdSolve, an interactive event where attendees and law enforcement experts will team up to work through the case files. Taking place Oct. 17 to 20, 2019 in Seattle, CrowdSolve promises true crime fans unprecedented access to the investigations’ key players — including local police and family members — as well as specialists in profiling, criminology, law enforcement, forensics, and crime scene reconstruction. 

“Part of the deal is that the police will be providing attendees with the full, uncensored case file — much of which has never been made public,” said Balfe in an interview with Oxygen.com.  

At the end of the weekend, CrowdSolve organizers will narrow down theories and present their findings to Thurston County law enforcement, and attendees will be able to follow any progress made in the cases through a closed Facebook group. 

“I don’t want to say too much publicly, but there are aspects to each [case] that make us feel that an ‘aha’ moment is just out of reach right now,” Balfe told Oxygen.com. “We hope hundreds of fresh eyes and new ways of looking at things will help lead investigators down a whole new path.” 

So, who were Moyer and Bodine, and where do their investigations stand? 

Nancy Moyer Karen Bodine Pd Fb

Nancy Moyer

On the evening of March 6, 2009, Moyer, a 36-year-old mother of two, carpooled home with a co-worker. Soon after, she headed to the store to pick up wine and food for a relaxing weekend. 

A local policeman who was running radar near Moyer’s home spotted her unloading groceries from her car later that evening. This was the last time Moyer was seen alive. 

Though the Thurston County Sheriff’s office established a well-documented timeline of events leading up to Moyer’s disappearance, as well as a list of suspects, more than a decade has gone by without an arrest. 

In July 2019, however, Moyer’s former neighbor and co-worker, Eric Lee Roberts, allegedly called 911 to confess to her murder, but he recanted the following day. Police have not filed charges against Roberts at this time. 

During CrowdSolve, the team will analyze every aspect of Moyer’s case and potentially open new investigative avenues. 

“Fresh eyes and new science are a good bet for solving... these cold cases,” retired U.S. Marshal and CrowdSolve host Arthur D. Roderick Jr. told Oxygen.com

Karen Bodine

On January 22, 2007 the body of Karen Bodine, a 37-year-old mother of three, was found alongside a Rochester highway. She had been laid on her back in a gravel pit off the side of the road with her head placed on a discarded car seat. 

Bodine was nude aside from a ligature that had been used to strangle her to death.  

According to the autopsy, no sexual assault was indicated, but there were suspicious marks on her remains. An unknown male’s DNA was recovered from the ligature, and there were two tire tracks at the location where Bodine's body was recovered. 

Roderick tells Oxygen.com he believes the unknown male DNA could be “checked again and very possibly updated with DNA procedures,” adding that the suspicious marks and tire tracks will also “be explored at CrowdSolve with law enforcement and forensic experts.” 

Balfe hopes that by bringing attention to both Bodine and Moyer’s cases, “something (or someone) will ultimately shake free,” a goal that is echoed by Roderick. 

“As with any cold case, keeping it in the press and the public eye has always been beneficial,” he says. “In both Nancy’s and Karen’s cases, the amount of time that has passed could be a big benefit — people talk, relationships change. [G]enerally guilt is always there and very difficult to hold a secret for that many years.”g 

Tickets are still available for CrowdSolve Seattle, and you can register for the event here