Cody Johnston faces sentencing on January 17 for the murder of Nicole Waller, a 32-year-old Kalispell woman. Johnston was convicted of deliberate homicide in October 2016, an usual outcome for a murder trial without a body. To date the whereabouts of Waller's body are unknown.
The events leading up to the trial go back to February 14, 2013. Waller was on her way home from Sidney when he disappeared. Her vehicle was found abandoned near Poplar, over 400 miles from home where her three children were waiting.
While law enforcement didn't reveal every detail that lead to their conclusion of foul play, Agent Hilyard referenced Waller's abandoned car as one example.
Someone witnessed suspicious activity taking place. It also appeared odd that her children’s pet guinea pigs were still in the vehicle when it was recovered,” he said.
Hilyard concluded, “There are three children and a family looking for some closure to their loved one’s disappearance. And there’s someone out there who knows the truth.”
Agents from the Montana Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation worked collaboratively with the FBI, the Flathead County Sheriff's Office, and the Rich land County Sheriff's Office on the investigation, which helped DOJ’s Prosecution Services Bureau team prove Waller had been murdered by Cody Johnston.