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Book explores love of Latrobe psychic's parents

| Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

As a child growing up in various countries around the world, Nancy Myer came to accept that her ability to “see” things made her different from other children.

But, later in life, even she was surprised when her father, Frederic Myer, showed up for a visit four days after his funeral.

“He was concerned about the level of grief my mother was going through,” said Myer, who lives in a Latrobe Victorian with her beloved black Labrador, Herbie. The home is filled with paintings done by her mother, the late Harriet Myer-Filar, and a collection of dolls from around the world.

“He wanted me to help her,” said Myer, formerly Nancy Czetli, who has assisted police on more than 800 murder and missing-person cases and will speak on Saturday at the Ramada Inn Greensburg about her new book, “Travels with My Father, Life, Death and a Psychic Detective.”

The book is primarily about the love between her parents, she said.

“I wanted to write about the love story of my parents and the fact that he came back,” she said. “I have knowledge that is very real that the soul continues beyond death. Love just does not die.”

Frederic Myer joined the Foreign Service when his daughter was 5 and served in Chile, Ecuador, Afghanistan, France and Nepal. Nancy Myer graduated from high school in Beirut.

He died in 1971 at age 54.

Her mother, who studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York City and earned a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Delaware, died in 2006.

Myer said she's seen the very worst of humanity through her work with police.

“The nightmares are the murders of children,” she said.

In the book, she recalls the search for a missing autistic child.

“I knew at once that the child was dead,” she said.

She writes about holding his photo, a sweater and favorite teddy bear.

“Shivers ran through my body as I felt the cold the boy felt before he died,” she said.

State police in Delaware were having a hard time finding his body even as they walked around it. Myer “saw him climbing way out on a tree limb and then falling into the mud” up to his hips. He lost consciousness, fell forward and was covered by falling leaves.

Myer wept after police found his body. She has never gotten used to bad outcomes, she said.

Another case, in which a child was kidnapped by two men, raped and beaten to death, also left its mark.

“I can't get the child's screams out of my head,” she writes. “I had to watch him die, and I couldn't stop it.”

Over the years, she has learned to “distance herself,” she said as Herbie played with a rubber bone. She learned to visualize herself standing beside the victim and quickly separate herself from his or her thoughts.

Her work has impressed veteran police officers.

When a serial rapist attacked six elderly women in Homestead in the mid-1980s, police Chief Chris Kelly turned to Myer for help. His department had tried everything else to crack the high-profile case that was attracting national attention.

Myer told him the names of victims who hadn't come forward, the locations of attacks, how the rapist was entering the homes and even the partial name of a victim who had yet to be assaulted.

In the end, police work led to the arrest of Dennis Foy, who was convicted of raping the women and sentenced to 200 years in prison. But Myer impressed Kelly with her knowledge.

“It was my first involvement with a psychic,” said Kelly, now mayor of West Mifflin. “We were impressed ... we consulted with her on a couple of other cases.”

Did it change his perspective?

“I'm less skeptical now,” he said.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

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