SEATTLE -- Police said Wednesday that advances in DNA testing and cell phone tracking gave them sufficient evidence to arrest Martin David Pietz for the 2006 death of his wife Nicole.
Pietz was arrested Wednesday morning and later charged with second-degree murder.
“We’ve known all along he did it,” said Nicole’s mother Gael Schneider. “And knowing that he’s having a life and my daughter’s life was so cruelly taken from her. It’s so unfair.”
David Pietz reported his wife missing Jan. 29, 2006, after she failed to show up for dinner with friends and family the night before.
The car he claimed she was driving on the day she disappeared was found in a parking lot in Seattle. Court documents say David Pietz's DNA was found in large quantities in the car -- particularly on the gear shift, steering wheel, and windshield wiper knob - the last places the driver would have touched.
Nicole's nude body was found in the woods off a dead end road in Burien, far from her home in Lynnwood. She had been beaten and strangled.
Charging documents released Wednesday (see below) say the time of death was likely in the early morning hours of Jan. 28 -- when David said she was asleep in their bed.
Documents also say Nicole’s body appeared to have been carefully laid in the brush – the bottoms of her feet were clean -- and “in her mouth was a dental retainer she wore only at night, while sleeping, because of a lisp.”
Though Nicole's cell phone was never found, records show it was used for one outgoing call on Saturday - a 21-second call to 24-hour Fitness, where David was working. New technology allowed police to determine that the call originated from a range of no more than three or four blocks from the gym - a range that includes the gym itself.
David and Nicole had financial problems and their marriage was in some “turmoil,” the documents state, and David had cheated on Nicole. She had learned that he tried to get other women to participate in a “threesome.”
Searches on the couple’s computer revealed inquiries about swingers clubs and how to cheat on your spouse, and within weeks of Nicole’s disappearance, David had begun seeking out phone numbers of women to date.
Charging documents say David Pietz failed a polygraph test during the investigation and refused to take another.
The King County Sheriff's Office says David Pietz was a suspect from the beginning. They put Nicole's picture on cold case playing cards, hoping to get leads.
On Wednesday, David Pietz was finally arrested outside the Kirkland bank where he's been working. The new developments involving old evidence lead to the arrest.
David Pietz is being held on $1 million bail.
"It's been six years of hell. Knowing that he's behind bars makes me very happy," said Nicole's mother.