Rescue, canine teams search Tenino for missing mother

By Jeremy Pawloski; The Olympian

Bloodhounds with Thurston County Search and Rescue tried to pick up the scent of a missing mother of two from her home in the 700 block of state Route 507 on Sunday morning, but the sheriff's department reported that the operation yielded no new clues about her whereabouts.

Nancy Moyer, 36, was last seen March 6. She drove a co-worker home from their jobs in Lacey with the state Department of Ecology, and was seen that evening purchasing groceries from Dave's Thriftway in Tenino.

On March 8, her husband, Bill, went to her house to drop off their two daughters, but she wasn't there. The couple is separated and share custody of 9-year-old Samantha and 11-year-old Amanda.

Bill Moyer said it was out of character for his wife to be absent at their appointed time for dropping off the children. He has told police that the door to her home was ajar when he got there. He also said a glass of red wine was on a table in the living room, and the television was on.

Suspicious disappearance

The Thurston County Sheriff's Office is investigating Moyer's disappearance, and two detectives are assigned to the case. Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Chris Mealy has said the disappearance is suspicious because her purse containing her credit cards, keys and wallet was in the home, and there is no sign that she left on a trip.

Moyer has not left home unannounced in the past, and she has no known medical, mental health or substance abuse problems, Mealy has said.

Sunday's effort

During Sunday's canine search, Nancy Moyer's white Honda still was parked in the driveway across from the railroad tracks that are opposite the home.

Mealy said that Sunday's search consisted of four bloodhounds and six cadaver dogs. The dogs picked up a scent from one of Moyer's shoes inside her home, and then fanned out with their handlers around the neighborhoods and wooded areas in the immediate vicinity.

One bloodhound, Ranger, and its handler walked from Moyer's home down Huston Street. Ranger sniffed the ground all the way to Old Highway 99. But from there, Ranger appeared to have lost whatever scent it might have picked up, and the dog and the handler got in a sport-utility vehicle belonging to search and rescue and headed back to Moyer's home.

Mealy said the dog teams checked the area of Crowder Road near the railroad tracks, and the water tower in Tenino.

About 40 volunteers participated in the search, which included the sheriff's Jeep patrol, said Bill Gillespie, council president for Thurston County Search and Rescue.

"We wanted to give the friends and family some assurance that we're doing everything we can do," Gillespie said.

Sheriff's Lt. Paul Counts said that search and rescue officials have been in contact with volunteer searchers who also have searched the area around Moyer's home twice in the past week. He said he did not think that their efforts conflicted with search and rescue's efforts on Sunday.

Jeremy Pawloski covers public safety for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5465 or jpawloski@theolympian.com.

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