Reiser’s mother says separation was ‘very sad’

Hans Reiser’s mother said today that she thought it was “very sad” when Hans and his wife Nina separated in May of 2004 after five years of marriage and having two children.

Called as a prosecution witness in Hans Reiser’s trial on charges that he killed Nina Reiser, 31, who disappeared on Sept. 3, 2006, Beverly Palmer testified that, “I was reluctant about the whole thing” when the couple separated and he moved into her house on Exeter Drive in Oakland.

Hans and Nina Reiser married in 1999 but Nina Reiser filed for divorce in August of 2004and 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 Exeter Drive house, has never been found despite extensive searches in the Oakland hills and elsewhere.

Hans Reiser has insisted that he is innocent. His attorney, William DuBois, has said that he thinks Nina Reiser might still be alive and could be in hiding in Russia, where she was born and where she was trained as a physician. Alternatively, DuBois has said that Nina might have been killed by Russian spies or mobsters.

Palmer said that when Hans moved to her house he didn’t have a car but she let him use one of the two cars she owned, a Honda Civic CRX.

In his opening statement in Reiser’s trial last month, prosecutor Paul Hora told jurors that the car disappeared at the same time Nina was last seen alive and Palmer was upset because Reiser was using her other car, a Honda hybrid car, leaving her without transportation.

Hora said when the Honda Civic CRX was found by Oakland police near Exeter Drive on Sept. 18, 2006, 15 days after Nina disappeared, its front passenger seat was missing, which the prosecutor said was “one incredibly unusual thing.”

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