It would seem we might be some steps forward in the case — although we can't yet be 100% certain Nic is HS, if it is so, then my feelings run to the idea someone posted that the apartment building in Federal way houses, or did house, someone who knows something.
i am hopeful that something is Nic isn't dead, but has indeed started a new life of his own volition. that way it's not impossible for him to come back and be a presence in his children's lives and at least support Christine financially.
the other way would be his risky lifestyle has led to his demise. maybe accidentally as part of an S&M game or maybe outright murder?
or maybe HS isn't Nic at all and we're barking up the wrong tree.
whatever it is, the man could not have disappeared into thin air. this should NOT become a cold case.
i say thanks to everyone's invaluable sleuthing.