Relatives of Nicole Pietz say her husband exhibited strange behavior in the days after her murder. David Pietz is currently on trial for strangling his wife in 2006 and dumping her naked body in some bushes around Burien.
In testimony on Monday, the victim’s sister, Tonia Zurcher said Pietz never helped look for his wife. Zurcher said while friends and family were out searching, Pietz never even put up a missing person poster. She added that she never saw him make a single phone call related to his wife’s disappearance. That strange behavior continued the day of Nicole’s funeral.
“It was a really strange thing,” testified Nicole’s tearful mother Gael Schneider. “He put his arms around me and said, ‘I didn't think you'd take it so hard.’”
Prosecutors played the 911 call Pietz made the day he reported her missing. His voice is quiet, calm, and matter of fact.
Prosecutors contend David Pietz was unhappy with their marriage and killed Nicole during an argument -- the same day she found out he had been having an affair.
Pietz maintains his wife disappeared without a trace on her way to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting where she was to celebrate 8 years of sobriety. He told everyone he came into contact with that he believed she may had fallen back into an old drug habit.
Nicole had recently been prescribed Percocet for back pain. Her husband showed investigators and family members an empty Percocet bottle in their bathroom. In testimony Monday, Zurcher said her sister was adamant about staying clean.
“David pointed out the empty bottle and said she must've taken them, and I said she must've dumped them out because that's what she was gonna do with them.”
Prosecutors say other evidence points to Nicole being murdered by her husband that night. When her body was discovered she was wearing a mouth guard that she only wore at night to prevent teeth grinding. Her wedding ring was still in cleaning solution in her bathroom. Friends say the only time she ever took the ring off was before bed when she would clean it. A medical examiner report also states that undigested food found in the victim’s stomach indicates she died sometime that evening and not days later.