The Mystery of Missing Nina

"Two weeks after Nina disappeared, I tried to get in touch with Hans, I tried phoning him," Sharanova said. "Not even a single time he answered my calls. I think if a man is not involved into something horrible, he will not be behaving this way."

As for claims that Nina was a gold digger, anxious to flee to America, both Sharanova and Doren say nothing could be more ridiculous.

"Nina's family is a very successful family of doctors," said Doren. "She's a third generation doctor. They have a beautiful apartment in the middle of St. Petersburg. They've always had cars and a country house."

Sharanova believes that her daughter is dead and dismisses the suggestion that she disappeared to start a new life. "She would be with her children," she said.

"I feel we don't have closure until there is justice," said Doren at a memorial service held to mark the one year anniversary of Nina's disappearance. "She is the most caring and giving person I have ever met in my life, and she deserved so much more in her life."

The Evidence

The direct physical evidence against Reiser is limited, but police have built a detailed circumstantial case. When police arrested him the floors of his car were wet and the passenger seat was missing. Reiser claims that because he was a suspect, the authorities would not allow his mother to take custody of his children unless he moved out, so he had been living out of his car.

"He had to vacate the premises," said Dubois. "And so he finds himself living in his car. Which, for him, seemed the logical thing to do under the circumstances."

When Reiser was picked up for DNA testing, he was carrying his passport and nearly $9,000 in cash.

"It's nothing sinister. Actually it has to do with payment of his employees in Russia," said his father.

In his car police found two books on murder investigations, purchased five days after Nina's disappearance.

"He's that type of person who would try to inform himself on the subject of police investigations once he found he was the target of one," said his attorney Dubois.

Reiser writes relentlessly to his children, who are now living with their grandmother in Russia. But according to those who have read the letters, he never mentions the mother of his children … his missing wife.

"The kids are writing back to him, but every letter has a question: Where's our mom?" said Doren.

"All my relatives, my husband and my kids, we would like to ask only one thing: Where is Nina?" said Sharanova.

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