Dateline will focus episode on Kalispell murder victim

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WALLER

The national television show Dateline NBC on Sunday night will feature a story on the murder of Kalispell native Nicole Waller.

Waller was killed in February 2013 at the age of 31 by her ex-boyfriend, Cody Wayne Johnston, who was convicted of deliberate homicide in 2016 and sentenced to life in prison.

Investigators believe Johnston, a native of Fairview, killed Waller and put her body in a barrel. Then, according to his cellphone records, he lied about his whereabouts on the day Waller went missing and turned off his phone for three hours to prevent law enforcement from tracking him.

A witness testified during Johnston’s trial that during that time he helped Johnston move Waller’s car, and others said Johnston asked them to make fake social media posts from Waller’s account to make it look like she was still alive.

Prosecutors said the last time anyone heard from Waller was when she contacted her family on Valentine’s Day 2013 saying she was breaking up with Johnston and returning to Kalispell.

Waller’s body was never found.

Carmen Kiebler, Waller’s sister, said that during the trial, Johnston played off his involvement in the incident as a “childish prank,” without ever apologizing for his actions.

Johnston said he plans to appeal his conviction.

“Our Montana Department of Justice prosecutors and investigators serve justice faithfully, and live for the opportunity to honor crime victims with unfailing service and tireless dedication,” Montana Attorney General Tim Fox said in a press release. “Our hearts go out to Nicole Waller’s family, and we pray that our work to bring justice will help them heal and find some measure of closure in the wake of this senseless crime.”

The Dateline episode will air Sunday, May 21, as a two-hour episode, broadcast statewide on Montana’s NBC affiliates. For more information about the episode, visit http://www.nbcnews.com/dateline.

Reporter Mary Cloud Taylor can be reached at 758-4459 or mtaylor@dailyinterlake.com.

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