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Oklahoma’s Unsolved Mysteries: Who killed Nancy Probst?

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- A wife murdered, a cheating husband, and a little baby left at the crime scene.

Nearly 15 years later, the murder of Nancy Probst is one police refuse to forget.

Although the case has gone cold, her family is still holding out hope that her killer will be convicted.

It happened in the daylight of a Midwest City neighborhood November 2000.

By the time police arrived, it was cold and dark the night they found the body of 32-year-old Nancy Probst.

"I remember that day so vivid. It was horrifying for me to get that phone call,” Nancy's brother, Byron Helmle said.

And it was a horrifying scene. Nancy had been beaten and shot once in the back of the head.

NewsChannel 4 has never-before-seen photos that show the bedroom blinds in disarray.

Her husband, Matt Probst, called 9-1-1 when he got home from work. He said he could see his wife lying on the floor in the house as he looked through the window.

Matt didn’t enter the home. Instead, he parked six houses down waiting for police arrive before he went inside.

“If he's so concerned, why in the world wouldn't you pull in the driveway, and once you realize something was wrong, why would you not make entry into the house to check on your child and your wife?” Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.

That was the first in a series of suspicious behaviors that had investigators focusing on the husband. It didn’t take long before they uncovered Matt Probst’s other life and other women. One woman said she and Matt had sex the afternoon Nancy was killed.

Matt was a mechanic at a local car dealership; according to court documents, the woman told police she and Matt “had sexual intercourse in the back of a customer’s van.”

Police interviewed other alleged mistresses, one saying Matt told her “he was very unhappy at home” and “that he was wanting to divorce his wife.”

Nancy’s family had no idea Matt was cheating.

"After hearing everything, it was very shocking to me," Helmle said.

Police arrested Matt for first degree murder in March 2001.

“I think they focused on him so much that they didn't look at the possibility of other suspects. There were other things going on in the neighborhood, burglaries, things like that,” Probst’s attorney, Irven Box said.

Investigators did look at Calvin Mosley. He had broken into nearby homes to sexually assault women; he was convicted of those crimes after Nancy’s murder, and remains in prison.

But eventually, police decided Mosley’s method of operation didn’t match up with how Nancy was killed.

Could another burglar have done it?

Police say there was no forced entry, nothing was taken, and Nancy wasn’t sexually assaulted. Matt remained their number one suspect.

“We think he was a bad husband, and we think he was involved in the death of his wife. He took a polygraph and he failed,” Chief Clabes said.

“I just didn't see it. I’m thinking, do I know what happened? I don't know what happened,” Box said.

Matt was in jail for 13 months. His preliminary hearing was delayed 11 times before prosecutors, under District Attorney Wes Lane dropped the murder charge against Probst due to lack of evidence.

It was devastating news for Nancy’s family.

“I was very confused why they dropped it. I wanted them to continue on and find out the truth,” Helmle said.

So Matt left Oklahoma a free man.

Years have gone by, leaving Nancy's death with so many unanswered questions.

“It’s not right to let somebody out there run free whenever my sister's gone,” Helmle said.

Nancy’s baby is a teenager now. Byron adopted Lalia after Nancy died.

But while the case has gone cold, it isn’t closed.

District Attorney David Prater’s cold case investigators are still working the case, and police are retesting unknown DNA found at the scene.

“I would like to see justice. I’d like to see justice done,” Helmle said.

“Whether I'm the police chief or you have another police chief here, that case will always be worked until it's solved,” Chief Clabes said.

NewsChannel 4 reached out to Matt Probst, but our calls went unanswered.

If you have any information on the crime, please call Midwest City Police (405) 739-1306.

Click here to visit the website that Nancy’s family started in her honor

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