Details of Disappearance Anna was last seen playing in the backyard of her family's home on Purissima Creek Road in rural San Mateo County, California on January 16, 1973. She had arrived home from her kindergarten class at Alvin Hatch Elementary School at 1:00 p.m., changed her clothes and went outside to play. Her mother and stepfather were both inside the house.
At 2:20 p.m., Anna's mother noticed she was no longer in the yard. The police were informed at 3:00 p.m. after her mother's search proved to be in vain. The authorities sounded a siren in the neighborhood with the hopes of attracting Anna by the noise, but she has never been heard from again.
A creek ran through the Waters family's property and was in the flooding stage in January 1973. However, an extensive search of the creek turned up no sign of Anna. Purissima Creek Road is not a major thoroughfare and few cars travel on it.
A friend of the Waters family reported he saw two men, one of them much younger than the other, in a white panel truck on the road just minutes before Anna vanished, but the men have never been identified and it is unclear whether they were involved in her disappearance.
Anna's younger half-brother later remembered that, about a month before Anna went missing, a man and a woman tried to lure her into their vehicle on the road near her home, in the presence of both of Anna's half-brothers. He described the car as a 1960s model Chevrolet Impala with Washington license plates.
The woman had long dark hair and wore a loose-fitting white shirt with embroidery. Anna's brother could not describe the man. Anna refused to get into the vehicle and the couple drove away. The couple and their car have never been identified and it has not been proven that they were involved in Anna's disappearance.
There is speculation that Anna's biological father, George Henry Waters, was involved in her disappearance. George, a doctor, began behaving erratically after Anna's birth and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. His family refused to have him committed to a mental hospital, however, as this would have caused him to lose his license to practice medicine.
George had a relationship with another, older man who called himself "George Brody." Anna's family believes this name was an alias. They describe Brody as a manipulative man who exercised a "cult of personality" over Anna's father, which led to his divorce from Anna's mother.
George moved into a cheap hotel in San Francisco, California with Brody after the divorce, although, as a practicing physician from a wealthy family, he could have afforded better lodgings. He supported Brody financially and reportedly did not make any decisions without consulting him.
Brody was interested in Anna, and believed her to be the reincarnation of a woman he had lived with. He made Anna's mother legally change her daughter's name, adding the word "Eifee" as Anna's middle name. The word apparently has no meaning; Brody merely wanted the letters added to Anna's name so her name would numerologically add up to his own name.
George never contacted his ex-wife after Anna's disappearance to offer sympathy or ask for updates on the case. His only known reaction to his daughter's abduction was to ask his attorney if he could discontinue his child support payments. Brody died of cancer in December 1981. His death certificate showed no birthdate, no known relatives and no Social Security number.
After Brody's death, George destroyed most of the papers relating to himself, Brody and Anna, except those which were stored in a safe deposit box. Approximately two weeks after Brody died, George committed suicide by drinking poison in his hotel room. His exact date of death is unknown, as his body was not discovered for about a week.
Police investigated George and Brody for evidence of involvement in Anna's disappearance and could find none; and neither could a private investigator. Anna's mother and stepfather believe she is still alive and may not know she is a missing child.
Anna was born in San Francisco and traveled around the country with her family prior to her disappearance. Her case remains unsolved.
- San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 15, 2017; age-progression updated.