The Zaharias Children were abducted by their mother, Susan Gammill Zaharias in 1987. Their father, Louis Zaharias, has been searching for his children ever since.
About the Case
On November 19, 1987, Louis Zaharias and his wife of six years, Susan Zaharias, got into a big verbal argument in their Santa Ana, California home. The next morning, Louis went to work. When he returned later in the day, Susan and their two children, Christopher, age 3, and Lisa, age 1, were gone.
While Louis was at work, Susan bolted with the children and took them to Pennsylvania where her sister, Julianna Nosal resided with her husband and children.
Susan may have planned the disappearances and received financial assistance from her family, who may have always known the whereabouts of Susan, Christopher, and Lisa, but continue to hide them to this day.
Louis claimed Susan had a problem with drugs, specifically cocaine, and was behaving recklessly prior to fleeing with their children.
A felony warrant for crimes against persons was issued for Susan in February of 1988. There is also a warrant out for her arrest for custodial interference.
On January 27, 2016, Susan’s mother, Norma Jean (Dodson) Gammill passed away at the age of 83. In her obituary, Susan, Christopher, and Lisa are listed as surviving family members, thus leading authorities to believe they are alive and well.
According to an eye witness, a woman resembling Susan was seen at the Celebration of Life for Norma and this person was walking directly behind the casket.
Louis Zaharias has spent around $1,000,000 and nearly 30 years searching for his children.
Louis and Susan divorced in the 90s.
On July 13, 2016, the admin for the Zaharias children Facebook page posted:
To the person who is reaching out to Philip and Erica by phone, please read this message:
We would like to talk with you. You are not in trouble, and you are safe. We understand you are confused, and have many questions. We are here to answer them, and to help you find answers. We also understand you may be afraid, and want to assure you there is nothing to fear.
Could the person reaching out be Chris or Lisa?
You can follow this case here:
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
From what I understand, Susan accused Louis of some sort of abuse. However, he was fully investigated by police and there is absolutely NO evidence to support this. I think it was just a lie. I think she left to punish Louis and what better way to do that than to hide his own children?
I also think it is possible that Susan gave the children to friends or family members to raise and changed their names. That may be why they haven’t been found – they’re not with their mother. Of course, Susan knows of their location and would still be in touch with them.
I found a photo– possibly from late 80s, early 90s – of John Nosal, Susan’s brother-in-law, with a group from his church. In this pic, he is holding a blonde girl about the same age as Lisa. We do know that Susan and the kids spent time in Pennsylvania after she fled California. Whether or not this is actually Lisa is hard to say.
Louis has a RIGHT to see his children and they have a RIGHT to see him. Susan probably lied to them about their dad, so they would hate him like she does.
You know, I’m just going to say it. I kind of understand running with the children if she truly felt she was protecting them. But 30 YEARS LATER? What’s her excuse now? The kids are grown and they are responsible for themselves. So, get over yourself, Susan. Do the right thing and tell your kids you lied about their father and contact Louis. This really isn’t about protecting those kids. This was a vendetta. Because if it was about protecting them, we’d have answers by now.
What do you think happened to the Zaharias children? Should Susan’s family be prosecuted for helping Susan?