Debora Sue Lowe

Debora, circa 1972; Age-progression to age 58 (circa 2016); Gerald Schaefer

  • Missing Since 02/29/1972
  • Missing From Pompano Beach, Florida
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 09/19/1958 (60)
  • Age 13 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5 - 5'6, 120 - 125 pounds
  • 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.
  • 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."

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 29, 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 with 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. Her case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Pompano Beach Police Department 954-786-4200
  • Broward County Sheriff's Office 954-765-4321

Updated 10 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 16, 2017; age-progression updated.