Dateline   |  November 20, 2013

'Secrets in Seattle' part 1

When 32 year old Seattle woman Nicole Pietz goes missing, her friends and family are desperate to find her.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> would put it in her red bull .

>> how did she change?

>> she became more sexual with people.

>> who wanted her dead?

>> he thought he was somewhat of a player.

>> did it make him a killer?

>> i'm lester holt , and this is "dateline." here is dennis murphy with "secrets in seattle." 3 f2 con la historia , les presento a a woman lost had been found in the tangle of the blackberries. a naked body. a small tattoo on the back. a necklace and signs of strange legislation. the detective sent to a patch of trees and boggy undergrowth near the seattle airport 's runways, guessed it was her. they would soon be proved correct. nine days to find her, the answer to where. another seven years still ahead to answer the questions of all homicides, who, and why. but we have to go back, before the crime scene photos and the medical examiners' findings, before she became those chilly words, "the victim." to find the dearly loved person named nici . nici pietz, wife and daughter, sister and friend.

>> she seemed to be able to uplift people in ways that none of us knew how to do.

>> she had a way to make you smile. she had a way to let you know that everything was going to be okay.

>> gayle was her mother.

>> nici was sunshine. she was the kind of person that when she walked in a room, the room lit up.

>> gayle raised nici and her sister, tanya, in the suburbs of seattle. there were carefree days at the nearby lake.

>> is nici your annoying kid sister or was she a pretty cool kid?

>> she was a very annoying kid sister . mom insisted on dressing us alike.

>> in high school , mia says nici was a friend to everyone.

>> every day, eating lunch together. she never sat. she would walk around and visit with people. she always saw the good in people. she didn't see the bad in people.

>> after graduation, nici brought that winning spirit into the workplace. eventually landing a plum position in the head offices of bali total fitness. kimberly thomas was on her team.

>> nici was a great boss. she cared about how your day was, she cared about how you were feeling. she cared about your birthday.

>> bally's is where nici met david pietz. he exuded smooth confidence. he seemed to be going places .

>> he was definitely a very nice man. easy to talk to, would laugh a lot. he was actually a very compassionate person.

>> he was very confident can. he spoke well. he had a presence that demanded attention.

>> dave was set on selling more gym memberships than anyone else. and he wouldn't have denied what everyone saw in him. he was ambitious, with his eyes on bigger management prizes.

>> dave could sell reading glasses to a blind person. it didn't matter what his pitch was. he had you convinced that whatever it was, you had to have it.

>> so there was dave , hustling on the sales floor, and there was nici , the buttoned-up blonde from corporate. and the boss's favorite hire was acknowledged. before long, nici and dave became an item.

>> she definitely would get a little bounce in her step when she got an incoming message from dave .

>> out of everybody, he chose her. that has to make you feel kind of special.

>> pretty soon, nici and dave moved in together. gayle had remarried and moved to arizona with her new husband, ron. and she could tell by the sound of her daughter's voice on the phone that nici had found the one.

>> he was her dream man.

>> really?

>> he was the man she wanted. she was so in love with him.

>> and he apparently with her. evidence to her friends and family, by the piece of jewelry she was rarely seen without.

>> david got her a little tennis bracelet .

>> diamonds on it?

>> yeah, little tiny diamonds and white gold , i think.

>> did she like it? was it a sentimental piece for her?

>> she loved it. she wore it everywhere.

>> another piece of jewelry from him would follow. a wedding ring . after dating for two years, nici and dave married.

>> so tell me about the wedding. hawaii was the place.

>> it was in hawaii. she looked so beautiful and happy. they both had leis and beautiful flowers in her hair. and it was on the beach, with the waves crashing. and sunset. it was beautiful. it was absolutely beautiful.

>> and was your sister happy on that day?

>> yes. i think she found her prince charming .

>> nicole pietz seemed to be on top of the world , and stepping confidently into her grown-up life.

>> she was pretty excited about getting married. she loved her ring. she loved her bracelet that he got her. she was excited about getting a new condo. and having her own little family.

>> january 28th , 2006 was a saturday. after a hectic workweek at their different jobs, nici and dave would chill with a dinner party that night over at their friends' place. that afternoon, dave called nici to hash out the details. they would drive there separately.

>> hey, babe, give me a call. i need to know what we're doing, if i need to stop and get food or anything for allen and jason and stuff like that. so give me a call. bye.

>> but when dave pietz showed up at their friends' apartment that evening, nici wasn't there. one hour, two hours, and still no nici . dave 's wife of almost four years was