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Watch the Dateline episode, “The Clearing” now

Dennis Murphy reports.

She absolutely loved the woods. 

That’s something everyone can agree on.

Deep in the forest, Emily nourished her soul in the joyous quiet. 

It’s where she found peace and even food for her table.

Did she also go there to escape?

People in Westerville, Ohio still wonder about that.

It may have seemed that Emily was dancing through life, but it hadn’t been easy... She’d survived a lot of crushing sadness over the years. 

And in 2020, as the pandemic took hold, life got particularly hard. Like so many, Emily and her husband, Matt, were in lockdown.

But on Sunday, May 24, Emily and Matt wanted to get out and celebrate. It was Memorial Day weekend and Emily’s 52nd birthday. So they dipped their toes back into the local nightlife scene with a trip to some bars. 

Night became morning and then afternoon. At 2:47 p.m. on May 25, a friend got a call from Emily’s phone.

However, it was not Emily on the line. It was her husband, Matt.

Emily was missing…

To find out what happened to Emily Noble, watch the full episode, “The Clearing” on Peacock now. 

You can also watch on the NBC app or listen on our podcast.

Emily’s friends share memories of her with Dateline. 

Matt shares some of the lessons he learned from his wife, Emily. 

After you finish the episode, learn about Dick’s Den, a bar frequented by Emily.

Plus, you can listen to the episode of Talking Dateline on the case, available now. In it, Josh Mankiewicz and Dennis Murphy give you an inside look at the making of The Clearing.