Bonnie Elzora Brashers
Bonnie, approximately 1963; Nathan Brashers
Date and time person was reported missing : 09/16/1963
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
DOB : 03/10/1913 (108)
Age at the time of disappearance: 50 years old
Height / 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, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian female. Brown hair, blue eyes. Bonnie wears eyeglasses for reading; she left those behind.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : 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.
A photo of Nathan is posted with this case summary. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the desertion charges. He had previously been committed to Agnews State Hospital, the state psychiatric hospital, but later escaped. In December 1963, three months after Bonnie's disappearance, he was recommitted and the desertion charges against him were dismissed.
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.
Nathan claimed he'd acted in self-defense; the victim's friend said Nathan had approached them without provocation, pushed them and then shot at them. The outcome of that case is unknown. Nathan died in a nursing home in 1982, at the Age at the time of disappearance: of 77.
There's been no indication of Bonnie's whereabouts since 1963.
Other information and links : ncy
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
California Attorney General's Office
The Santa Cruz Sentinel
October 12, 2004. March 8, 2016; Medical conditions : added, Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: and Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map