Investigation Discovery’s Detective series tonight examines the death of exotic dancer Azita Nikooei, whose case was solved after bones found in the Mojave Desert were revealed to be hers.
The episode, called Till Doom Do Us Part, traces police in Bakersfield, California, searching for details in the disappearance of the 29-year-old mother.
Nikooei was seen for the last time in September 2004, before gold miners discovered her bones years later.
Her fiance Nathan Mowers — with whom she reportedly engaged in violent arguments — was initially seen as a person of interest but there wasn’t enough evidence against him.
Her bones were later found in the desert on two separate occasions — once in 2008 and once in 2009. Heavily bleached from the sun, they were eventually revealed to be hers.
Mowers was arrested at his home in La Quinta in May 2011, charged with voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to 11 years in prison in February 2012.
Police reportedly suspected foul play after she failed to show up for a custody exchange with her ex-husband for their young son.
Mowers, as part of a plea deal that spared him a first-degree murder charge, admitted that he strangled Nikooei during an argument at their home and dumped her body in the desert.
According to Bakersfield.com, Mowers, 38, was emotionless when Kern County Superior Court Judge Charles R. Brehmer gave him the sentence.
“Mr. Mowers, Ms. Nikooei is not here today,” Brehmer said, adding: “Ms. Nikooei is not here because you made the decision to kill her.”
Nikooei was reportedly survived by a son who was 14 years old at the time of the sentencing.
Detective airs Fridays at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.