Details of Disappearance
Zahn traveled from his native Switzerland to the United States in 1992. He planned to make a tour of the country's major cities and national parks. After arriving in Florida, took an overnight bus ride from Jacksonville, Florida to Atlanta, Georgia on April 28. He checked into the American Hotel across the street from the bus station in Atlanta.
Zahn placed a phone call to his travel agent in Orange County, Florida at approximately 4:15 p.m. later in the day. He called from a pay phone in Tucker, Georgia at a Denny's restaurant on Mountain Industrial Boulevard, and confirmed a May 19 reservation in Las Vegas, Nevada. Zahn has never been heard from again.
Zahn's credit card was used 31 times between April 30 and May 11, 1992 in Cobb and Carroll Counties in Georgia. The card paid for $2,800 worth of liquor, motel rooms, cologne, jewelry and other items. Harry Eugene Hale was arrested in February 1993 and convicted of credit card fraud in Zahn's case in October of that year.
Photos of Hale are posted with this case summary. He admitted to using the card, but says Zahn allowed him to do it in order to repay a debt. Hale was a resident of Austell, Georgia at the time of Zahn's 1992 disappearance. He also owned homes in Kentucky and Florida. Hale drove a red 1993 Ford Probe with Georgia license plates in April 1992.
Authorities suspect that Hale may have murdered Zahn in order to utilize his credit cards, but have never discovered enough evidence to charge him in connection with the case. However, Zahn's cameras, camera bag and an Amish quilt he purchased as a gift for his mother were discovered in Hale's Kentucky home.
Investigators said that Hale had a reputation for stalking bus stations and highways searching for young male transients in 1992. He is suspected of drugging and sexually assaulting young men in several states. There is speculation that he was connected to the 1990 disappearance of Mitchell Manns in Kentucky, but he has never been charged in that case.
Zahn's case remains unsolved, but foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved in his disappearance.