Detectives in Washington have arrested Nicole Pietz's husband in her brutal 2006 murder, and her mother, who lives in the Valley, tells CBS-5 News it could not have been anybody else.
Detectives said David Pietz beat and strangled his wife of four years, Nicole Pietz, then dumped her body in a forest in Burien, WA.
Police arrested David Pietz Wednesday morning outside his workplace and booked him into the King County Jail on second-degree murder charges.
"After all this," Gael Schneider, Nicole Pietz's mother, said, "six years and 54 days, it finally happened."
When Schneider got word of the arrest Wednesday morning, she said she hit an emotional high.
"Elation, total elation, I mean, I just felt like I was over the moon," Schneider said.
And then Schneider came back down to earth, remembering the day when her daughter went missing.
"Now I'm reliving it. I've been on the verge of tears all day," Schneider said.
Detectives believe David Pietz killed Nicole Pietz in their Lynnwood condo sometime between the evening of Friday, Jan. 27, 2006, and the morning of Saturday, Jan. 28, then dumped her naked body in a wooded area of Burien and reported her missing.
"It was absolute hell," Schneider said.
A passerby found Nicole Pietz's body 10 days later. The autopsy revealed that she was beaten and strangled to death, and had no alcohol or dangerous drugs in her system.
Police later located Nicole Pietz's abandoned Volkswagen Jetta at the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Examiners discovered more of David Pietz's DNA in the car than Nicole Pietz's, including his DNA on the steering wheel, gear shifter and windshield wiper knobs.
Nicole Pietz was a recovering alcoholic and had been sober for eight years. She was supposed to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting the day after her murder.
David Pietz failed a polygraph test involving Nicole Pietz's death and refused a second test or any media interviews.
Detectives learned the couple had financial problems and their marriage was in "turmoil." Reports also revealed David Pietz had cheated on Nicole Pietz prior to her disappearance.
Schneider said she wants answers.
"I wish someday he would tell me why he did it," said Schneider.
The Schneiders will travel to Seattle for David Pietz's arraignment on April 4, and they plan to be there for his trial.