Lisa Mae Zaharias

Left and Center: Lisa circa, 1987

Right: Age Progressed to age 28


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: November 20, 1987

Missing From: Santa Ana, Orange County, California

Classification: Family Abduction

Date Of Birth: August 18, 1986

Age: 1 year old

Height and Weight: 2’0″ and 20 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: White Female, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Lisa’s name might be given as a hyphenate “Lisa-Mae”

NCMEC Number: 703577


Details of Disappearance

Lisa and her older brother, Christopher, were abducted by their non-custodial mother, Susan Elizabeth Zaharias, from Santa Ana, California on November 20th 1987. That morning, Susan and the children’s father, Louis Zaharias, had a very serious verbal argument and he left the house to cool off. He also went to work that day and later during the day, Susan took the two children and left the house.

Investigators believe that Susan’s relatives may have helped her get on a flight to escape possible arrest. A felony warrant for crimes against persons was issued for the abductor on February 17th 1988. Susan also has a warrant for custodial interference that orders her arrest if she’s caught. Investigators were able to determine that Susan and the children stayed with family in Pennsylvania for a bit of time after Lisa and Christopher’s abduction. They were also sighted in Detroit, Michigan in 1988.

There have been reported sightings of Susan in Michigan and Oklahoma. Investigators have been unable to locate them in any of the areas they were in or seen in. The children and Susan might be traveling in a black colored 1986 Toyota 4-Runner with the license plate number 2X85442.

Susan was born on December 5th 1959, she was 27 years old when she kidnapped her two children. She’s described as being Caucasian with blonde hair and blue eyes, she stood at 5’6″ and weighed between 90 and 100 pounds. She has a heart condition which requires her to take medication before any type of dental operation. She also has a small scar on her upper lip and keloid scarring on her abdomen. Susan’s maiden name is Gammill and she might use the last name Nosal.

According to Louis, Susan was addicted to and abused cocaine and crystal methamphetamine in 1987 and was behaving recklessly. They had been married to each other for 6 years but their relationship had various problems.

Investigators believe that Susan and the children could be in Oklahoma since her parents lived there when the abductions occurred. She also has relatives living in both California and Pennsylvania. They could also be in Sarina, Michigan or the Lake Elsinore and Orange County areas of California. Northern California is also a place that police believe the trio to possibly be in.

Both Lisa and Christopher remain missing and their cases unsolved. Their current whereabouts are unknown.


Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Orange County District Attorneys Office 714-541-7531


Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

For The Lost

The Charley Project

The Doe Network

NamUs