A recently-published obituary may be the key to finding missing Christopher and Lisa Mae Zaharias, who were kidnapped 28 years ago.
(VNO) — In a turn of events so unexpected, the recent death of an Oklahoma family’s matriarch may be the key to locating her grandchildren, who were kidnapped 28 years ago.
Photo and age progressions courtesy of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Click on photo to enlarge.
Christopher Louis and Lisa Mae Zaharias were abducted by their mother, Susan Elizabeth Gammill Zaharias, on November 20, 1987, from the family’s home in Mission Viejo, California. The childrens’ father, Louis Zaharias, has spent nearly three decades searching for his children, while hitting brick walls and enduring taunting and stonewalling from his former wife’s family. It is alleged Susan’s family aided in the abduction and has known the location of their missing daughter and grandchildren for the past 28 years.
It is also believed several other family members have known the whereabouts of the missing three.
Five weeks ago, Susan Elizabeth Gammill Zaharias’ mother, Norma Jean (Dodson) Gammill passed away in Oklahoma at the age of 83. In Norma’s obituary, several surviving relatives are listed: among them, her daughter – Susan E. Gammill, as well as grandchildren Christopher and Lisa.
Listing Susan, Christopher and Lisa Mae as surviving relatives directly infers that the Gammill family knows the three are alive and well.
Klein Investigations and Consulting/KIC Texas is the Private Investigation Firm leading the investigation into the disappearance of Susan Zaharias and her children. Philip Klein, TPLI, Personal Protection Officer, CEO, released a statement to Victims News Online as to the progress of the investigation over the past week:
KIC Texas is confident through eye witnesses and the obituary that has been written, that Susan, Christopher, and Lisa Mae are indeed alive and well. Furthermore, we know from new evidence that family members ARE in communication with them. We are dedicated to reuniting Louis with his son and daughter.”
Four weeks ago, a Celebration of Life was held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in nearby Seminole, OK. The small church held friends, family and community members from the neighboring small town of Wetumka, where Norma Gammill lived.
One person who attended the service told Victims News Online that a woman resembling Susan attended the memorial, and followed directly behind the casket. Our source, who wishes to remain anonymous, made statements regarding out-of-state license plates which match up to current focuses of the Zaharias investigation.
With 25,000+ followers on the “Help Find the Zaharias Children” Facebook page, the team running the investigation chose to re-release an earlier article detailing specifics of the family. The decision netted dozens of new leads, when the article was read and shared more than 7,000 times in the past week across multiple social media outlets.
That increased awareness generated new information indicating that at least one member of the family knows exactly what Christopher and Lisa Mae look like today, and asserts that the kids do not accurately resemble the March 2015 composite created by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The only way a family member could know that for certain is if he – or she – knows the whereabouts of the family, and what they look like today.
While some may think they are protecting Susan Zaharias and her children from a man who has been mislabeled a monster and even a killer, the obituary itself clearly disproves any claims that Louis Zaharias harmed his family in November 1987. The potential sightings of Christopher and Lisa in Wetumka, Oklahoma, indicate the two most likely returned for their grandmother’s funeral; and one eyewitness believes Susan Elizabeth Gammill Zaharias herself attended her mother’s service.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the children were reportedly abducted by their mother. A felony extradition warrant for Crimes Against Persons was issued for Susan Elizabeth Zaharias on February 17, 1988, and remains active to this day.
Warrant #03001158 – which is currently listed as “active” by the Harbor Justice Center – Newport Beach, California – lists a felony charge of CHILD CONCEALMENT for Susan Elizabeth Zaharias. If located, Susan Zaharias is required to make a mandatory court appearance, with bond set at $250,000.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Christopher or Lisa Mae Zaharias is asked to contact Investigator Thomas Finley at (714) 834-3600, or Klein Investigations at (409) 729-8798. You may also leave a tip on the official Facebook page, or may contact the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678).
It is possible Chris and/or Lisa could be in Pennsylvania, California, or Oklahoma, where sightings have been reported within the last six weeks. It is also possible they could be outside the United States.
More photos and information regarding the abduction of Christopher Louis and Lisa Mae Zaharias may be found on the official website.
An archive of the Zaharias case from our team may be found here.