An Oakland man who was dating Nina Reiser at the time she disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006, testified today that he didn't think she would have vanished voluntarily and abandoned her two children.
Testifying in the trial of 43-year-old computer engineer Hans Reiser, who's accused of murdering Nina, Antonios Zografos said, “Her kids were her life” and described her as “a very good mother who was very caring and very loving.”
Zografos is one of a number of witnesses, including Reiser's own mother, who have testified that they don't think Nina Reiser would have left her children.
Their testimony refutes defense attorney William DuBois' speculation that Nina Reiser might still be alive and could be in hiding in Russia, where she was born and trained as a physician.
Alternatively, DuBois said that Nina might have been killed by Russian spies or mobsters, alleging that her family has connections with Russian spy agencies.
Hans and Nina Reiser married in 1999 but Nina Reiser filed for divorce in August 2004 and they had been undergoing bitter divorce proceedings for more than two years at the time she disappeared.
Nina Reiser was awarded both legal and physical custody of the couple's two children, but Hans Reiser was allowed to have them one weeknight a week and every other weekend.
The body of Nina Reiser, who was last seen alive when she dropped off the couple's two children at the house on Exeter Drive in Oakland where Hans Reiser lived with his mother, has never been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere.
Hans Reiser has insisted that he is innocent.
Zografos testified that he met Nina in the summer of 2005 when he responded to an ad she had placed on a section of Craigslist for single parents who want to find other single parents for mutual activities with their children.
Zografos said their relationship initially revolved around their children's activities but by January 2006 they were dating.
Zografos said he and Nina were in a “committed” and “serious” relationship and saw each other most days and communicated many times every day via phone conversations and email and text messages.
Zografos said he was concerned because, while he was present, the couple's children called Nina “a liar and a thief and said she stole their dad's (Hans Reiser's) money.”
— Bay City News