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Missing Bonnie Elzora Brashers
Bonnie, circa 1963; Nathan Brashers
Missing Since 09/16/1963
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 03/10/1913 (108)
Age 50 years old
Height and Weight 5'7, 170 pounds
Medical Conditions Bonnie was recovering from a hernia operation at the time of her disappearance. She was due to return to work in a week.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Bonnie wears eyeglasses for reading; she left those behind.
Details of Disappearance Bonnie was last seen at her residence in Freedom, California on September 16, 1963. She spoke to one of her daughters at 9:30 a.m., but wasn't home when her children returned home from school.
Her husband, 61-year-old Nathaniel "Nathan" Brashers, told their children that evening that Bonnie had simply walked down the road and hadn't returned. She and Nathan had nine children and four of them were still living with their parents at the time. She left all her belongings behind, including her reading glasses and all three of the family's cars, and has never been heard from again.
Nathan disappeared the next day, leaving behind $77 in cash and a note saying addressed to his children saying, "This is all I can give you, I won't need it, so don't look for me." He didn't take a vehicle with him and also left all his belongings behind, including his dentures.
Authorities theorized Nathan had murdered his wife and then died by suicide, and began an extensive search of the area. They couldn't find much evidence in the Brashers home, and one of their children had washed all the family's clothes before the police could examine them.
Nathan was known for his violent temper and their children said he had threatened Bonnie before. Nathan had been arrested for murder in 1958, after he slit an elderly male neighbor's throat during an argument. The grand jury failed to indict him, however, deciding he had acted in self-defense.
Three weeks later, Nathan returned home and was arrested on charges of deserting his two minor daughters, and questioned about his wife's disappearance. He said he had no idea what happened to Bonnie and that after she went missing he felt "left without a home", so he caught a freight train to Oregon and worked in the apple orchards there before deciding to return home and check his mailbox.
Nathan continued to get in trouble with the law after his wife disappeared: in 1980, seventeen years later, he was charged with shooting a man during at the Pacific Avenue Mall. The victim, a member of the Hare Krishna religion who was selling popcorn at the mall with a co-religionist, survived his injuries.
There's been no indication of Bonnie's whereabouts since 1963.
Investigating Agency / Department