Last week marked 10 years since any one last saw Tenino woman Nancy Moyer — and a new podcast centering on her life, disappearance and the theories surrounding her heavily speculated-about vanishing will be launching online that same day.
James Baysinger, creator and driving force behind the podcast “Hide and Seek,” said his fascination with Moyer’s case was preceded by a lifelong interest in mysteries.
True crime programs like Dateline were captivating for him and his family. So when podcasts — episodic stories told primarily in an entirely audio format — started delving into the true crime genre in more recent years, Baysinger was instantly hooked.
Popular podcasts like “Serial” and “Up and Vanished” easily held his interest, and eventually inspired him to try making one himself. Baysinger, a Kennewick, Washington resident, started combing through open cases across Washington in search of one that could serve as a topic for his podcast.
That’s when he found Moyer’s case. He was struck, he said, at how bizarre and unexplained her disappearance remains in the public eye. He also found her story somewhat relatable; she had split with the father of her kids and was a single mom during the week.
“I was a single dad for a while, so it kind of hit at home for me, and I thought, you know, these kids have grown up without their mom. I can’t imagine my son growing up without me or his mom,” Baysinger said.
Moyer’s disappearance has since been ruled a no-body homicide as authorities feel confident that she’s dead, according to past reporting on the incident.
Moyer was last seen March 6, 2009. She was 36 at the time.
On March 8, 2009, her husband reported that he found the front door of her home open. Her car was still parked in the driveway and her purse was still in the house.
“Nancy has not had any activity, bank account information, family contact. She basically disappeared from the earth,” said Detective Ben Elkins with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in a 2016 interview. Elkins inherited the case a handful of years ago.
Baysinger said he’s interviewed Elkins for the podcast, along with neighbors, co-workers and friends of Moyer. Sometimes, he said, he’s run into dead ends when trying to score interviews with other potential sources. It can be frustrating, he said, to hit a wall during such an investigation — one where he’s become emotionally invested.
“It’s frustrating. It’s extremely frustrating, because as you’re investigating this girl’s life, you’re trying to put yourself in her shoes and her situation and the relationships she had and … I didn’t expect it to be this emotional, honestly,” he said.
Baysinger works as an insurance agent, and between his career and the podcast, sleep has been coming at late hours of the night. He said he’s often up till 3 a.m. recording or editing. He’s also been getting help from a private investigator and someone well versed in audio recording and editing.
Episodes of “Hide and Seek” will be released weekly. Baysinger’s got enough material for the first four or five episodes and will continue releasing them until the story has reached its natural conclusion. He had a vision of between eight and 10 episodes total, but he said he’s not fixed on those numbers.
A trailer for the podcast released online in February reached listeners in several countries throughout the world, Baysinger said.
By releasing some episodes now, he hopes that the podcast will gain some traction and that other people who might know something about Moyer’s case will contact him.
“If it’s true, then I need it, and I’m not saying I’m going to put it on my podcast,” he said, saying that he’s willing to hear people’s stories without using their names in the podcast. Although, anyone who is OK with being interviewed will be recorded in audio form only; there’s no video component for the podcast, he said.
Baysinger said he will visit Tenino from March 14 to March 18. In that time, he plans on going around and talking to locals and recording interviews. He encouraged anyone with something to share to contact him, and that he would be willing to conduct the interview during that time frame. Numerous other interviews have been conducted over the phone, he said.
“It would help a lot because I feel like the only way that we’re going to figure out Nancy’s story and knowing the truth is people talking,” he said.
Baysinger can be reached at 509-551-8787 or by email at email@example.com.
The first episode of “Hide and Seek” will be online on March 6. You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, Soundcloud, Tunein, Stitcher and Podbean.