SEATTLE — More than seven years after Nicole Pietz’s body was found in a wooded area in Burien, her husband is expected to be tried for the Lynnwood woman’s death.
Martin David Pietz, 36, is accused of strangling and beating his wife in late-January 2006. Prosecutors allege that Pietz killed his wife, dumped her body about 30 miles away and then lied to cover up his involvement.
The defendant was arrested in March 2012. He is charged with second-degree murder in King County Superior Court. Martin Pietz has denied killing his wife. Jury selection is expected to begin later this week.
Martin Pietz reported his wife missing after she didn’t show up for dinner with friends on Jan. 28, 2006. His friends encouraged him to call 911 after he told them he hadn’t seen Nicole Pietz, 32, since the night before and hadn’t been able to reach her.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies told the Lynnwood man to check with his wife’s friends and co-workers and call back in a day if she was still missing. He filed a missing person’s report on Jan. 29, 2006.
He told investigators that when he arrived home from work the previous night, his wife was asleep in their bed. He said when he got up the next day, she was gone. Her car also was missing.
A week later, a passerby found the slain woman in King County. She was naked and appeared to have been carefully placed in muddy brush. She had been strangled. She’d also had injuries to her head and legs. Investigators believe that Nicole Pietz was killed sometime in the hours that her husband said she was sleeping.
Phone records showed that Nicole Pietz’s cellphone was used to call the Seattle gym where her husband worked about 11:50 a.m. on Jan. 28. Investigators suspect that the 21-second call was placed after the woman’s death.
Surveillance video from the gym shows that Pietz was gone from his work area for about 10 minutes during the time of the call. The call was made from within the gym or someplace nearby, court papers said.
Prosecutors allege that the couple’s marriage was in turmoil. Investigators reported that Martin Pietz had cheated on his wife. They also said he began seeking new women to date shortly after police began investigating his wife’s killing.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.