Nina Reiser, an Oakland mother of two children who was in the midst of contentious divorce proceedings, was seriously considering filing for bankruptcy at the time she disappeared Sept. 3, 2006, a bankruptcy attorney testified today.
Taking the witness stand in Hans Reiser’s trial on charges that he murdered his estranged wife Nina, who was 31 when she was last seen alive, attorney Darya Druch said if Nina’s bankruptcy petition had been approved, Hans Reiser would have been solely responsible for $75,000 of the couple’s joint debt.
Druch said Nina Reiser first called her in the summer of 2006, met with her in her office on Aug. 9, 2006, and was scheduled to meet with her again Sept. 20, 2006.
Druch said Nina Reiser “had an urgency to get all the paperwork done” because she wanted to get her bankruptcy petition filed before she started a new job in late September.
She said Nina “was very excited about starting to work again in the medical field.”
The attorney said Nina Reiser didn’t show up for her appointment and her bankruptcy petition never was filed.
Hans Reiser, a 43-year-old computer engineer, and Nina married in 1999, but Nina filed for divorce in August of 2004 and they had been undergoing bitter divorce proceedings for more than two years at the time she disappeared. She was last seen alive when she dropped the couple’s two children off at Hans Reiser’s home in the Oakland hills.
Nina Reiser’s body has never been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere, but Hans Reiser who has pleaded not guilty, was charged with murdering her after Oakland police said they found biological and trace evidence tying him to her death.
His attorney, William DuBois has suggested that Ninamight still be alive and in hiding in Russia, where she was born and were she was trained as a physician. The couple’s children are currently living with Nina’s mother in Russia.