Family holds onto hope in Midwest City cold case murder

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - It’s been 14 years since the murder of a Midwest City mother.

She was found dead inside her home with her 9-month-old baby in another bedroom.

The case has gone cold, but the woman’s family isn’t giving up.

Nancy Probst was only 32 when she was brutally murdered in her own home.

Her parents have never lost hope in getting justice for their daughter, but they’re getting older and are hoping revived interest in the case will help investigators catch her killer.

The Helmle family spends a lot of time visiting Nancy Helmle Probst’s grave this time of year.

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

Nancy was found dead in her bedroom in November 2000.

She’d been beaten and shot in the back of the head.

Her baby girl, Lalia, was unharmed in her crib.

“It was a dark November night when we responded. I remember it was cold and looking through the master bedroom window and seeing her laying lifeless on the floor brings back memories, vivid memories, not only for me but other people who are still working here trying to solve this case,” Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.

Midwest City Police always suspected Nancy’s husband, Matt Probst.

The night of the murder, he parked down the street and waited for police to get there before he went in his home.

“We felt confident at the time we filed charges against Matt Probst he was either involved or knew who was involved in the death of Nancy Probst,” Chief Clabes.

Matt was charged with murder, spent more than a year in jail, but the DA’s office at the time dropped charges the night before Matt’s preliminary hearing.

No one else was ever arrested.

“It’s been hard not knowing what all took place, and it’s been a challenge raising her daughter,” Byron Helmle said.

Byron adopted Nancy’s daughter. She has no contact with Matt Probst.

Now 15, Lalia has lots of questions about her mother and the murder.

“Lalia has lived her life without her natural mother, and we see Nancy is Lalia every day,” Pam Helmle said.

Investigators are still working to find answers.

Midwest City Police have partnered with the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s cold case unit, hopeful a break in the case isn’t far away.

MWC Police are also working with OSBI and other agencies.

They say Matt Probst is still a suspect.

Anyone with information on Nancy’s murder should call Midwest City Police.

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