Eric Lee Roberts, the man authorities say confessed in July to killing missing Tenino woman Nancy Moyer before recanting days later, spoke with the creator of the podcast Hide and Seek and said he had no memory of calling the authorities to say that he killed Moyer.
The podcast released its first episode in March, and has thus far chronicled and investigated Moyer’s 2009 disappearance. It’s available on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, Soundcloud, Tunein, Stitcher and Podbean.
The most recent episode — the penultimate one of the season — includes roughly an hour of conversation between Roberts and Hide and Seek creator and host James Baysinger.
In an interview with The Chronicle following his talk with Roberts, Baysinger said the 53-year-old Rochester man wasn’t consistent in his recounting of events.
“He’s just kind of all over the place,” he said, adding that he seemed to have a depressed and “defeated” demeanor throughout the interview.
Baysinger said he appeared at Roberts house unannounced with Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier. After initially making contact with Roberts, he said it took about 20 minutes of conversation before the three sat down together outside to talk on the record.
“I just have no recollection of that,” said Roberts, when Baysinger asked about his confession to killing Moyer, which he made to 911 dispatchers and detectives, according to court documents. “I don’t know what to think of that. First of all, I had nothing to do with her disappearance, I told the detectives that.”
Roberts said medication he was taking might be responsible for his lack of memory.
Later on, Baysinger asks: “Why call in and say you did it? That doesn’t make sense.”
“I don’t remember that. I don’t remember that,” said Roberts.
“But you heard yourself on the record, on the recorder, you heard yourself, and you confessing to the murder. Why do any of that? I don’t understand If you didn’t do it, and even if you were drunk, drunk people don’t call in and then say ‘I committed this murder’ and give a detailed rundown of what happened. Drunk people don’t do that,” Baysinger said, in one of multiple attempts to delve deeper into Roberts’ vague answers.
“The only thing I can offer up to that is that was despair and anguish and then the fact that you became involved in this case probably a month before that,” he said.
Authorities say Roberts called 911 in July and confessed to killing Moyer, saying he “felt tired of holding it inside” for the past decade.
During a recorded statement, Roberts said he killed Moyer after she attacked him near the Chehalis River. Roberts then asked detectives to turn off the recording device they were using, and once it was off, his demeanor and story changed, according to court documents.
“At that point in the interview, Eric appeared to become more relaxed. He turned towards Det. Hamilton and relaxed his muscles as he changed his story to tell Hamilton he actually killed Nancy in his house,” according to court documents.
He went on to say they had “rough sex” and that he strangled Moyer with a scarf, killing her unintentionally. He told detectives he was using drugs and alcohol and said he didn’t realize at first that she was dead.
“Eric said that at first, he thought she was still alive, but then he realized she wasn’t because ‘She hadn’t moved in a really long time and she was not breathing,’ ” according to court documents. He told detectives he didn’t try to help her because he “freaked out.”
During his interview with Baysinger, Roberts said this story about the scarf was fabrication.
“I don’t even know where that came from. That was made up. There’s a lot of s*** that’s made up from the f****** media, or a lot of people where somebody says to somebody else or, a lot of people are just making s*** up. It never f****** happened,” he said.
Detectives also noted in court documents that Roberts motioned to an outdoor fire pit and said: “I don’t really want to incriminate myself any further, but IF (sic) I was going to get rid of a body on my property, it would be right there.”
Roberts said during the interview with Baysinger that he was referring to his own cremation, saying he had previously made it known that he wanted to be cremated at the fire pit.
Baysinger said he intended to return to Roberts residence to conduct a polygraph test, at Roberts’ own suggestion. Baysinger said he made it clear he didn’t believe Roberts was telling the truth at times during the interview.
“He was appalled by that,” Baysinger told The Chronicle.
Prosecutors said they’ll wait until the conclusion of a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office investigation before they decide whether to file charges against Roberts. TCSO personnel took items from Roberts’ house for further testing, after Roberts allegedly told them Moyer’s clothes were still in his basement.
The next episode of Hide and Seek will be the final episode of the first season. It currently does not have a release date.