Even the psychic couldn't find Jason Goddard.

"This guy came out of the blue one day and said if he held ... a pin that he had ... over a picture of the victim he could tell me if he was still alive or not; where he might be," Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office Deputy Kevin Messelt said.

"He was up in (the) Wahas," Messelt, the former detective on the case, remembers the psychic telling him. "It came up that somewhere up there is a woodpile, his body is there."

The psychic's claims came more than 15 years after the 21-year-old Goddard disappeared on March 5, 1990. Everything gleaned from the investigation indicated to police on both sides of the Snake River that the young Clarkston man had been murdered.

But without a body and the two top suspects having obtained attorneys, Nez Perce County investigators were at an impasse when the psychic arrived at the sheriff's office. Rumors of a woodpile had circulated before.

"We came out to look at it, and of course it was nothing," Messelt said. "The only body we found was like an old deer or something like that."

Like many deputies before him, Messelt spent his years as a detective living with the frustration of cold cases like Goddard's.

"It's just waiting for something to pop up," he said. "Maybe the guys in their old age get an attack of conscience, but other than that it's a cold case."

If the narrative that Messelt and his colleagues adhere to is true, an attack of conscience doesn't seem likely.

The account detailing Goddard's alleged murder - what Wade Ralston, the investigator who pored over the file from 1992 until his retirement in 2004 once called a "cold-blooded assassination" - came in part from a person closely tied to one of suspects.

The story began two days before Goddard vanished and $1,300 went missing from the till at Magic Video in the Lewiston Orchards. The informant told police the two suspects, both of whom were around Goddard's age, were responsible for the burglary.

Goddard's roommate worked at the video store and it was believed to be his keys that were used to gain entry.

According to a yellowing police report, when the roommate found out, fearing for his job, he went to Lewiston police. He implied that Goddard was in on it.

Goddard was reportedly furious when he found out and said he wasn't going to be stuck with all the blame. So he confronted his partners in crime and threatened to go to the police.

Another witness told police Goddard had received a phone call from one accomplice the day he went missing. They argued, but Goddard eventually agreed to take the rap if he could keep the money. He reportedly agreed to meet the two men, who were about his age, out in the Tammany or Waha area.

Before leaving their Clarkston apartment, Goddard told his roommate he would be back in 10 minutes. He never returned. Police believe Goddard arrived to collect the money and was shot and killed.

Two days later, Goddard's car was found at the Lewiston bus depot.

There was no record of Goddard purchasing a bus ticket and none of his clothes or effects were gone. If Goddard, the spitting image of a young Kevin Bacon, was the narcissist people led him to believe, Messelt said there was no way he hadn't at least packed a bag.

Cadaver dogs were brought in from northern Idaho and Spokane, but no trace of Goddard was ever found.

"The investigation went as far as it could go and just got cold," Messelt said. "There's so many open spaces, so many places up here that somebody could hide a body if they wanted to get rid of it - they'd probably never find it."

The suspects in the case have left the area and most of Goddard's family moved away as well. His mother, Louise Jacobson, was last known to be residing somewhere in California. Though she never lived in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, Messelt said her son would have made contact with her if he was still alive.

Despite everything, Messelt said there's always hope.

"There's a good chance there is a body out there somewhere," he said. "It might turn up someday but I don't know."