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Searching For Cold Cases

What Happened The Night Nancy Moyer Vanished From Her Home In Tenino, Washington?

The 36-year-old mother of two went missing in March 2009, and she has never been seen or heard from since. 

By Aly Vander Hayden

On the chilly Friday evening of March 6, 2009, Nancy Moyer was just finishing up work at the Department of Ecology in Lacey, Washington, where she had worked for more than a decade. 

Moyer, a 36-year-old mother of two, carpooled the 25-minute ride back to her home in Tenino, Washington, with a co-worker. She dropped off her co-worker around 4:45 p.m., and soon after, she headed to the store to pick up wine and food for the weekend, Detective Mickey Hamilton of the Thurston County Sheriff's Office told Oxygen.com.

Nancy had separated from her husband, Bill Moyer, two years prior, and they had split custody of their daughters, with Bill taking the girls on the weekend and Nancy watching them during the week. That meant Nancy would have the house to herself.  

Det. Hamilton, who is now the lead detective on the case, gave Oxygen.com other details about Nancy’s last-known whereabouts: A shopping receipt found by investigators indicated that Nancy was at the grocery store around 6:45 p.m. Then, a Tenino police officer reported seeing Nancy unloading groceries from her car between 9:00 and 9:30 p.m. The officer was running radar near her home and said Nancy was alone when she returned to the house. 

This was the last time Nancy — whose disappearance is reexamined in "Searching For," a new original series on Oxygen.com — was ever seen alive.

Around midnight, Nancy’s neighbor reported hearing a “hurried female voice” and the slamming of car doors, and assumed it was Nancy with her daughters, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com.  

On Sunday, Bill arrived at Nancy’s house to drop off their daughters. He noticed that the front door was ajar, and Nancy was gone.  

"It wasn't unusual," Bill told True Crime Daily. "She'd walk in the neighborhood sometime. So, I took the kids in and we waited for a few minutes, thinking oh, she'd come back from a walk. But she didn't." 

Bill went back to his house with the girls and called several family members and co-workers, but none of them had heard from Nancy. Concerned, Bill reported her missing to police, explaining that neither of them ever missed a drop-off or pick-up. 

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When police arrived at the house, they noted there was no sign of forced entry or a struggle, according to the probable cause affidavit. The lights were still on, and Nancy’s purse, identification and keys were found inside the house. Her car was parked in the driveway, but a long brown coat with a fur type lining that she wore frequently was missing from the home, according to the probable cause affidavit. 

A glass of wine was on the living room table, and another glass sat next to it. Det. Hamilton said they fingerprinted both glasses, but no sets aside from Nancy’s were identified. The glasses are currently being tested for DNA, and they are waiting on the results, according to Det. Hamilton. 

Det. Hamilton said Nancy could have disappeared between 9:00 p.m. and midnight, because that is when the home’s heating spiked due to the front door being left open. 

To this day, what happened to Nancy remains unknown. Although her former neighbor and co-worker, Eric Lee Roberts, 53, called 911 in July 2019 and allegedly confessed to her murder, he later recanted. At this time, police have not filed charges against Roberts in connection with Nancy’s disappearance, and Roberts maintains that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. 

The case is still an active investigation.  

If you have any information regarding Nancy Moyer, please call the Thurston County Sheriff's Office at 360-786-5530. 

For case updates and to help us dive into these disappearances, join the Searching For Facebook group.