Pamela Ann Nater

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Above Images: Nater, circa 1966


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: October 2, 1966 from Altoona, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: May 30, 1946
  • Age: 20 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'3 - 5'5, 120 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Dark brown hair, brown eyes. Nater had reddish highlights in her hair in 1966. Her nickname is Pam. Her middle name may be spelled "Anne." Her last name is sometimes given as "Mater" or "Taylor."
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A blue and white two-piece bathing suit and a blue and white pinstriped boys' Gant or Hugger short-sleeved shirt.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Nater and her friend Nancy Leichner went on a picnic with Aquaholics, a skin-diving club, in the Alexander Springs Recreation Area of the Ocala National Forest in Altoona, Florida between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. on October 2, 1966. They attended the picnic with Leicher's fiancee and Nater's boyfriend The two women were last seen going into the woods together along one of the nature trails, along Alexander Spring Creek. They left their purses, clothing, shoes, and other personal belongings behind on a picnic table. A search was organized when they didn't return. An extensive search covering fifteen square miles turned up no sign of Leichner or Nater. They have never been heard from again.

    It is not believed that the women drowned in the swampy area. They are both good swimmers and in any case did not plan to swim that day because the water was too cold. The two women's boyfriends were investigated in their disappearances, but eventually cleared of suspicion. Nater's boyfriend, who took and passed a polygraph test about the case, stated he and Nater planned to marry once she graduated from nursing school, although he hadn't bought her an engagement ring yet.

    In 2007, authorities announced they were closing the Leichner/Nater cases, as they believe the serial killer Gerard John Schaefer Jr. was responsible for their disappearances. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. Schaefer is believed to have been responsible for the deaths of dozens of young women and is suspected in the disappearances of Carmen Hallock, Wendy Stevenson and Peggy Rahn. The family of Debora Lowe, who disappeared in 1972, believes he was involved in her case as well. Schaefer was only convicted of two murders. He was murdered in prison in 1995. He was never charged in connection with Leichner and Nater's disappearances, but investigators are certain he was involved. They stated evidence, including a witness and a jailhouse confession, linked him to the two women.

    Nater is a 1964 graduate of Clearwater High School and was enrolled in nursing school at the time of her disappearance. Both women resided in Pinellas County, Florida in 1966. They did not know each other very well; they had met only once prior to their disappearances. Their cases are unsolved.

    Above: Gerald Schaefer


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Lake County Sheriff's Office


    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    The Crime Library
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    Newspaper Archive
    The St. Petersburg Times
    The Orlando Sentinel


    Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated November 23, 2013; picture added, details of disappearance updated.

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