Details of Disappearance David was last seen in rural Dixon, New Mexico on January 10, 1970. He was with his mother's boyfriend, Leon Zerfas, at the time. David's mother, Genevieve "Genie" Miera, was giving birth to a daughter named Eelia at Embudo Presbyterian Hospital the day David disappeared, and had to stay in the hospital for two days. She last saw David and Zerfas outside the hospital. The pair may have left on foot, hitchhiked or rode in a faded green 1946 Chevrolet pickup truck.
Zerfas was 27 years old in 1970, 6'0 with brown hair and gray eyes. He often used his surname as his first name. He also went by the initials LG or used the first names Bill, Joe, John, Jose and William.
Genevieve was released from the hospital on January 12 and came home. She, David and Zerfas lived five or six miles from the hospital, east of Dixon, in an area known as the Canoncito. When Genevieve arrived home, David and all his clothes and toys were gone.
Zerfas claimed he gave the baby away, but told different stories about it: he variously identified David's new caregiver(s) as his sister from Mexico, a "hippie" family who lived in a bus, a childless pair of college graduates from the eastern United States, a family named Phillips or Felps, and a blonde photographer. None of his stories have been verified and David has never been located.
David's mother, Zerfas and their daughter moved to California, then Genevieve left him after a violent argument and returned to New Mexico. Only then, more than a year after she'd last seen her son, did she report him missing. Photographos of Genevieve and Zerfas are posted with this case summary.
Genevieve would later characterize Zerfas as an unfaithful and violent man who abused her and David. Dixon was known as a "hippie" enclave in 1970 and many of its residents, including Genevieve, were involved with drugs. Several of David's relatives and the family's former neighbors believe Zerfas murdered the child.
Genevieve ultimately had five more children and raised them in the Santa Cruz, California area. In 1986, she and Eelia went to New Mexico to look for David, and Eelia encountered Zerfas and asked him what happened. He said he'd given David away. Genevieve died in April 1989 and Zerfas died in 2005. Eelia is still looking for her brother. David's disappearance remains unsolved.
- New Mexico State Police
Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 1, 2013; age-progression added.