Debora Sue Lowe

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3 AP
Top Row and Bottom Left: Debora, circa 1972;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 52 (circa 2010)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 28, 1972 from Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: September 19, 1958
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5 - 5'6, 120 - 125 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Debora's upper teeth are crowded and one of her front teeth has a small chip. She has a small scar on her left leg. Her nickname is Debbie and some agencies spell her name "Debra" or "Deborah."
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A tan poncho, a yellow blouse, black slacks with vertical rose-colored stripes, and a ring with an aquamarine stone. The ring is shaped like a flower with eight off-white petals with gold wire around them, a blue dot in the center, and a gold band.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Debora was last seen walking to Rickards Middle School in the vicinity of 8th Street and Sunrise Boulevard in Pompano Beach, Florida between 7:30 and 8:00 a.m. on February 28, 1972. It was about a mile-long trip between her home and the school. She never arrived at school and has never been heard from again. After her disappearance, her schoolbooks were found in a trash bin a block from her home.

    Authorities initially believed Debora had run away from home, possibly back to Palestine, West Virginia; her family had moved to Pompano Beach from Palestine shortly before her disappearance. Debora's family has never believed she left of her own accord, and she did not have a prior history of such behavior. None of her personal belongings were taken.

    Debora's family believes she may have been a victim of the serial killer Gerard John Schaefer Jr. A photograph of Schaefer is posted below this case summary. He worked with Debora's father and had visited her family's home. He was convicted of only two murders in the 1970s but is believed to be responsible for the murders and disappearances of many other girls and young women in the 1960s and 1970s, including Wendy Stevenson, Peggy Rahn and Carmen Hallock in 1969, and Pamela Nater and Nancy Leichner in 1966. Schaefer was never charged in connection with any of the cases, however. He was murdered in prison in 1995.

    Debora's father died of a heart attack four years after her disappearance, and her mother died in 1995, but the rest of her family continues to search for her. Some agencies give the date of her disappearance as February 29, 1972. Her case remains unsolved.

    Schaefer
    Above: Schaefer

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Pompano Beach Police Department
    954-786-4200

    OR
    Broward County Sheriff's Office
    954-765-4321

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    Source Information
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    Nation's Missing Children Organization
    The Doe Network
    Naples Daily News
    The Miami Herald
    Broward Sheriff's Office
    NamUs
    The Hur Herald
    CBS Miami

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    Updated 9 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated September 26, 2014; details of disappearance updated.

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