On September 3, 2006, Nina Reiser, a 31-year-old Russian immigrant and mother of two went missing from her home in Oakland, California. On October 10 at 11:00 am, her husband, 43-year-old Hans Reiser, was charged with her murder, even though a body had not been found. Now, the trial has gotten underway with still no body to refer to, making it difficult for prosecutors to find Reiser guilty of his wife’s murder.

Nina had filed for a divorce from Hans and won a temporary restraining order against him in 2004, though neither request was ever finalized. The two were also disputing over the custody of their two children, a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. The boy, Rory’s, testimony has conflicted throughout the trial. The day she went missing, she had dropped the children off at her husband’s house in Oakland Hills. It was later found abandoned with groceries and her purse still inside. Rory told police that he didn’t see his mother leave his father’s house after dropping him off. Later in court, he said that he did see his mother drive away. Before being able to get his story straight, Rory took a trip to Russian to visit his grandmother who has tried to get custody of the boy and will not let him return to California.

The defense now has the upper hand in the case, saying that Nina may be alive and living back in Russia. She had lived there until 1999 when her family was accused of having ties to a Russian spy agency. They argue that organized crime may be connected to her disappearance. This is a sensational story, but possibly legitimate. Prosecutors will have a hard time being able to make their case without a body. In fact, the prosecutors in the Scott Peterson trial were not able to charge Peterson for his wife’s murder until her body was recovered.

At the same time, they have plenty of circumstantial evidence to work with. Investigators have found bloodstains in Resier’s house and in his car that match Nina’s DNA. They also found trash bags, masking tape, paper towels, a floorboards soaked with water, and a missing passenger seat in his car. Two books were also found titled: “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets” by David Simon and “Masterpieces of Murder” by Jonathan Goodman. Both are about notorious murder cases. A $15,000 reward is beings offered for information about the missing woman. With any luck, a body will be found and one of the two sides will be proven wrong.

For related articles visit

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,280213,00.html and http://www.nbc11.com/news/10046048/detail.html?treets=bay&tml=bay_break&ts=T&tmi=bay_break_1_04160310102006.

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