Article about David Miera…and my own public record digging

The Albuquerque Journal has profiled David Miera in this article. Until now I hadn’t known whether “Zerfas” was the mom’s boyfriend’s first name or his last name. Turns out the man’s full name was Leon Zerfas but he went by his initials, LG. The article includes a great deal of information, including pictures of both Zerfas and David’s mother Genevieve.

The article says Leon was “the estranged son of an Indiana physician who apparently chose a darker, wilder course.” I found this obituary on Find a Grave for a Dr. Leon G. Zerfas from Indiana, who died in 1978. He had a PhD as well as an MD, AND he studied law, AND he donated a million bucks to Indiana University, his alma mater. (That was in 1972. The modern equivalent would be something on the order of $3.4 million. Way to go, Dr. Z.) Dr. Zerfas, in addition to being an Indiana physician like the article said, would be the right age to be LG Zerfas’s father, and if they had the same name that would explain why LG went by his initials…but the obituary lists only one child, a Dr. Charles Zerfas, who it says also lived in Indiana.

Looking further, I found a picture of Dr. Leon Zerfas and he resembles the photo of LG Zerfas from the Albuquerque Journal article. I’m almost certain that’s his father, in spite of what the obituary said. Maybe the obit doesn’t list Dr. Zerfas’s other son because of the estrangement?

(UPDATE 8/10/2013: A person who wishes to remain anonymous has informed me that LG Zerfas was NOT Dr. Leon Zerfas’s son or even a close relative, and all those things I mentioned that match are merely coincidental. I’ll be darned.)

In any case, the Leon Zerfas that was Genevieve’s mother’s boyfriend died in 2005, taking whatever he knew to the grave. I can’t find anything about the circumstances of his death. All the articles I can find when I search for that name are about a Utah teen who was murdered twenty years earlier.

I also looked up “Zerfas” the surname because I’d never heard it before. Turns out it’s German, a respelling of “Serfass.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Serf Ass. And on that note, I’m sorry, I can’t resist:

33 thoughts on “Article about David Miera…and my own public record digging

  1. Princess Shantae May 30, 2013 / 7:32 am

    If Dr. Z disowned LG, disinherited him and like that, he probably left instructions that only the one son was to be listed. Looks like LG was a terrible disappointment.
    On the name Zerfas: When I was little I loved reading a magazine called Jack and Jill, and there was a column in it called Ask Dr. Cory. Kids wrote in with the health questions or problems. (I was so excited when I saw a school friend’s name in there, writing about her scoliosis.) Anyway, Dr. Cory was a lady named Cory SerVaas. I think that was how to spell it. Looking at it now it looks kind of like it might be a Dutch version of Zerfas.

    • Meaghan May 30, 2013 / 8:05 am

      When I was a kid, back in the mid to late nineties, I was a member of an online writing club (which no longer exists) and another member I was friendly with was a girl named Devin Anderman. We lost touch yonks ago and I doubt she remembers my name. But several years ago I was leafing through some magazine and in the letters to the editor section was a letter signed “Devin Anderman.” I actually got a bit of a kick seeing that. It was almost certainly the same person.

    • Meaghan August 10, 2013 / 7:39 am

      See my update on this entry: it turns out LG wasn’t Dr. Z’s son, at least according to someone who contacted me and doesn’t want their name made public. Just a lot of strange coincidences.

      • anonymous August 10, 2013 / 5:47 pm

        You know what? While I appreciate you not using my name, I see no need to be mean about this.

        The truth is, I would gladly help solve any crime, if possible. I do not condone criminal activity, in any form, especially when it involves a child.

        Would it be possible for me to read the article that tells about this murderer being the son of Dr. Leon Zerfas of Indiana? Please?

        This Dr. Leon G. Zerfas was my family. I would love to know about the details and IF this LG may have really been his son.

        Dr. Charles Zerfas was the only child as far as our family knew. However, there was some very odd behavior where this branch of the family was concerned. Actually, Dr.Leon G.Zerfas snubbed his entire family except his Mother. We never knew why. He was very strange. He divorced his wife in 1941. He took custody of Charles….but never treated him right.

        I find an immigration record for a Leon G. Zerfas from Mexico to USA in 1957. I wonder if maybe he did have another son that we never knew about.

        At any rate, the behavior was very strange for what seemed to be no reason. There is no reason I would care to cover for any of them. Although Dr. Charles seemed to be a fine man. I knew his children. The boys had a band called ZERFAS. As far as I know, the boys are living in Florida and the girls in Indiana. I would gladly help solve this case, if any way possible.

        The picture of LG is a man we have never seen. The more I got to thinking about things, the more suspicious I became. That is the reason I asked you not to post my message. May have been incorrect and not even aware of the fact that he may have had children we never knew exsisted. See what I mean?

        You can post this if you want but I do ask that you please not use my name or any info. I thank you very much.

      • Meaghan August 10, 2013 / 6:43 pm

        The article is here: It just says LG was “the estranged son of an Indiana physician.” I looked for Indiana physicians with that name and that’s where I found out about Dr. Leon Zerfas. I didn’t know for sure, but the name is so uncommon and what few details I had matched up, so I figured Dr. Zerfas must be LG Zerfas’s father.

      • myfibroexperience September 26, 2013 / 12:22 am

        Also back to the subject of my brother … we tried and finally after years of being told they could do an age progression of his photo they finally took all of my uncles bothers and cousin and made one up for me…of course I don’t know how accurate it will be because we don’t know who his dad was but here the link to the updated poster

        some of my family think he would not look like this but i have to take what I can get to keep his case open and worked! Thanks for your support and putting his case out there! I really appreciate it!!

      • myfibroexperience October 12, 2014 / 6:29 pm

        you see what I have to deal with and you wonder why he never acknowledged his five other children and wife hmmm maybe he was abusive LG my father whom I love btw had to learn this behavior …the stories I have been told are of the father are more like hero worship and for a fact I know he allowed the kids to play with mercury and locked my dad in the attic because he didn’t complete an assignment to the liking of the Dr also my grandmother mysteriously broke her back three time that would be the reason she left Indiana alone I am willing to take any DNA to prove my heritage to him but every time I try to communicate to even just genealogy they completely stop communicating with me after they find out the situation….I wish I had know him he the Dr died when I was 8 and yes my dad did have a drinking problem but was sober for many years and yes he was violent I have asked him eye to eye many times about this and my mother did too…and before I met my dad in 1986 I asked my mother strait up if she thought he did it and she said no or else why in the world would she allow her 16 year old daughter to meet and visit him every year after that?? hmmm I met my oldest brother once and the one I wanted to really meet was murdered defending his sisters against a child molester who is still trying to get out of prison…as for my sister once she got money from me she never bothered to contact me even though I went through hell and high water to help her out….I have taken a break from looking due to major neurological health issues I still hold out hope that the older brother I always wanted will finally be in my life….I found a way to forgive my father for the violence my mother and I experienced…but if the poster knew him then and he arrived in CA like that is make me wonder was the Good Dr LG ZERFAS so good…..

      • myfibroexperience October 12, 2014 / 6:30 pm

        anon if he was not his father why then is he named on his certificate of birth tell me that?

      • Susan Stone Salas September 29, 2015 / 12:59 pm

        The LG in this case is my uncle and is Dr. Z’s son, while Dr. Z was married in Mass, he then as far I understood got divorced and was common law married to my Grandmother in Indian where they had 5 children. According to my mom there was domestic violence, and alcoholism, main reason she fled and left with the children to live in Calif. He did send her child support, and she worked odd jobs to make ends meet. I was privileged met him, back in the early 70’s, though a child it was cool.

  2. Margie May 30, 2013 / 6:29 pm

    I was just reading about David at Websleuths. His story is a Featured Cold Case. I find his story especially sad and tragic.He looks so sad. I am glad to read your additional info about Dr. Zerfas.

  3. myfibroexperience September 25, 2013 / 11:10 pm

    my dad is not a murderer thanks but we have no proof of that! and yes the good Dr is his father I have the birth cert to prove it and he had four other children as well if you want to actually know the truth you can ask me David is my brother Lg is my dad and Genie is my mother and the Dr is my grandfather…please don’t call him a murderer we have never found any proof to that! thanks

  4. myfibroexperience September 25, 2013 / 11:17 pm

    can you please give my info to the other person I am planning a visit to IN because of all the wrong information about my family…I am genealogist also working with a reporter there

  5. Guinevere December 21, 2013 / 10:17 pm

    I knew LG Zerfas many years ago when he was living in Las Vegas ,N. M. with a young woman names Brooke. They lost their first daughter after a home birth with a midiwife and had a second daughter 1 year later. That was 1977-78. I remember that his 2nd daughter looked just like her father LG. I have no idea who LG Zerfas’s father was but he has a sister currently living in Las Vegas, Her name is Diana Stone. He never said where he was from.His sister still talks about intelligent LG was. I believe when Brooke left LG, that she might have gone to Hawaii as did his first wife. I was always frightened of LG as were several of our friends. He was unpredictable and could become violent, especially when he drank. Even when not drinking his demeanor was suspicious. He left Las Vegas shortly after Brooke left but returned later and eventually died there. I read much later about him being a suspect in the disappearance of one of his girlfriends children. LG was strange and not to be trusted. I can only hope that he didn’t do such a thing but would also not be surprised. I always thought of him as having a sociopathic personality. One of his offspring is very famous and I am almost taken aback by seeing pictures of him. He looks so much like LG around the time that I knew LG. Whatever happened in the past LG has taken to his grave. I understand he had many children, most who never knew him.

  6. Guinevere December 21, 2013 / 11:18 pm

    By the way. The picture I saw of Dr. Zerfas is strikingly similar to the LG I knew.

    • Susan Stone Salas September 29, 2015 / 1:28 pm

      Dr. Z took care of his mother, he was not close to any family, he did not “disown” anyone of his children, he was just a solitary type of person,

      He made a great contributions to modern medicine through his early research and financial contribution to Indiana University. To benefit humanity as a whole, is after all the heart of a true doctor.

      According to his eldest son’s wife, and did not get anything from his estate, though mentioned in his obituary. She thought it was odd that the president of the collage stayed with the farm he had lived on for years. Also, two of the signers on Grandpa Z’s will were found guilty of mail fraud a few years after his passing, which indicates to me that Dr. Z may have gotten swindled. Regardless he was a great man in his own right,

  7. Jay Dee December 29, 2013 / 2:51 pm

    L G grew up in Cardiff California and went to San Dieguito High School in Encinitas. I knew LG when his family moved to Cardiff when he and his brothers were in grade school. When they moved there it was only his mother and 2 brothers. He was kinda of a trouble maker and tried to be a bully. I remember when he tried to bully my cousin in grade school and my cousin beat him up. With his past I wouldn’t be surprised about any of the speculation about him.

    • Susan Stone Salas September 29, 2015 / 12:43 pm

      They were three brothers and two sisters, LG the eldest boy got sent to reform school at 16 or 17 while his brother John got polio at 15 years old and later died at 18, his youngest brother Robert helped to take care of him.
      Not all bullies turn out to be bad people, sometimes they were bullied at school or home and copy that behavior on others.

      • Jay Dee May 9, 2016 / 10:22 am

        I knew all three brothers, and was a classmate of John. Robert or “Jim Bob” was hit by a car on the 101 and killed several years ago.

  8. Jay dee December 29, 2013 / 10:05 pm

    The initials LG stood for: Leon Grotus. Not sure about the spelling Grotus, it could be Groatus

  9. helpfordavid January 17, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    LG Zerfas is my uncle, one of the saddest aspects of this whole story is that David’s disappearance was held secret and not known to me or my side of the family according to my knowledge. (Aunty) Genie did tell me about a missing boy, when I was 8 years old, and then she vanished and I never saw her again. I met her daughter (my 1st cousin) in 1986, but she did not tell me anything about her brother being missing, but did tell me in 2004. With the help of Regina Chacon’s and countless other detectives gather old paper records from Albuquerque, and Santa Fe detectives they verified and opened David’s Cold case in Santa Fe, it has since moved to Espanola State Police, Collectively were able to and get David’s case posted on from the National Center for Missing and Exploited children and numerous Missing Children’s websites…

  10. thaddaeusbenderl9 July 22, 2015 / 9:12 am

    Turns out the man’s full name was Leon Zerfas but he went by his initials, LG. The article includes a great deal of information, including pictures …

  11. Susan Stone Salas September 29, 2015 / 12:30 pm

    My uncle went by many names, but in that era, in that local, he was going by Zerfas according to those who knew him, at that time, What is not mentioned much, but is known locally is that the Manson family lived on and off, close to where David disappeared. Another interesting fact is that in the Obituary for my auntie Genie is it states she is survived by her missing 2 year old son David Leofin Miera, which I think is weird because according to his birth record his middle name is Joseph.

  12. Hugh McLean December 25, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    I grew up in Cardiff, California in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was more or less a small beach village and LG and his family lived a few blocks up the hill from me. LG’s mother, Mildred Siegel, was a very special, very interesting lady and she and my mother were very, very close friends. I grew up learning to surf with LG and his younger brothers John and Robert. LG was several years older than me, but we all knew each other. I do not remember LG bullying anyone. All of the Zerfas boys were very intelligent and personable. I remember LG always seemed to be willing to take greater risks than the rest of us and when we were young we thought some of the things he did seemed reckless, but somehow he managed to pull things off. It is difficult for me to judge that part of him now. We were young and most of us were a bit crazy even before that big wave of chemistry arrived in our neighborhood.

    LG’s mother was prominent in the the crusade in our little town to get the school to open one night to vaccinate the population with the Salk vaccine. Her effort probably saved many lives. As I recall it, LG’s younger brother John was involved in high school football at the time that he contracted polio. I can still remember the morning that LG’s mother called my mother to tell her that John had polio. As I recall, his father also had a much more mild case at the same time. The whole neighborhood was of course terrified. In any event, a couple of years later, I visited John in his bedroom overlooking the sea and he was still paralyzed and dependent upon a machine for oxygen. John subsequently died not long after that visit. I mention all this because it had to have had an impact on both of John’s brothers, LG and Robert. Incidentally, Robert sold me my second surfboard, a yellow 8’10” Hobie.

    I hope that people are not unduly harsh with LG’s memory. The truth is that all of us in that neighborhood were raised with less supervision than we needed and nearly all of us made some serious mistakes. It is true, as I suggested above, that LG was a natural risk-taker and while he may have given his famous son very little else, he probably did give him some of that.

    • Jay Dee May 9, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      I grew up in Cardiff as well, actually born and raised there. Family goes back as far as 1922 in Cardiff. John was a classmate of mine and we were both played football at San Dieguito. Sadly john did get polio and passed away. Also, sadly Robert or “Jim Bob” was hit by a car and killed on the 101 several years ago.

  13. Holycowgirl September 6, 2016 / 1:08 pm

    This has been fascinating to read, my God, like old home week…with a lot of names I don’t know but the timing and place is right. I lived in Rancho then Del Mar 1959-1962, graduated ’62 from San Dieguito Union HS, John was a class mate. I remember the Zerfas family well, wonderfully wild, Millie was pure la boheme, free spirit and marvelous, long dark hair, slim and unique, and we all wanted her for a mother.
    LG her husband, the dad of these sons, was a tall, surfing, athlete you fell in love with looking at him, giant of a man, blond, serious, quiet, sullen, face like a huge lion. I visited the garage next to their house where LG was building a boat, hand-building, sea worthy, fabulous. Their son John was a sweet, shy surfer kid in my class. He got polio, I’m glad to read about Millie’s campaign for the Salk vaccine, I was in the line outside the school house and we got tiny white pleated dixie cups to drink it from.
    I went to visit John a lot; he was in an iron lung in the hospital, that summer 1962, I think. I use to write and mail him postcards every day. He got horribly thin, it was so awful, so sad. Millie gave all her kids a dollar on the day to get the polion vaccine. John went surfing, I think there was an older sister, I sort of knew her by sight but she’d graduated before me. She was going crazy at home, bought a case of Campbell’s tomato soup and started living in an abandoned shack on the road out to Rancho Santa Fe ”so she could find a millionaire husband and get the hell out of Dodge”. She lost a lot of weight and foiund a millionaire. Everybody could understand Millie driving everybody nuts
    Two weeks out of high school I drove across country to NYC, colllege at Goddard in Vermont, and then Brooklyn for years; back to the coast Big Sur in 1996. Still here.
    Somewhere in the early ’60’s my family wrote that one of LG’s sons had thrown a Molotov cocktail into the garage where LG was working on his boat and nearly killed him, burned him badly.
    I’m not making this up.
    It was the last I remember hearing about any of them until I watched ‘Riding Giants’, and in an interview I found with someone Laird Hamilton says his father, LG Zerfas, abandoned him when he was about three. His mother was Joann Zerfas.
    And I can’t help but think this is the same family but I don’t remember Joann.
    Anyone know?
    I wanted to write to Laird, but this is a very interesting blog, although the Doctor in the west doesn’t fit the picture.
    But the responses just above are the Zerfas family I knew, And all of them including LG were surfers.

    • Susan Salas September 19, 2016 / 7:43 pm

      HOLYCOWGIRL You say you graduated in 62, that explains your lack of knowledge about a lot of things about our family. Facts are facts, but when folks go making up stuff they know little about and then have the nerve to mock said individuals I think is rude. This forum by the way is to research the where abouts of David Joseph Miera a young child 2, almost 3 years old in Dixon, New Mexico Jan. 10, 1970. By adding gossip about our family is an insult to the victim in this case beloved David Joseph Miera.

      • Holycowgirl September 20, 2016 / 6:41 pm

        Susan Salas, there isn’t a word I made up. If it is the wrong family, ie not yours, there are nonetheless a great many connections familiar to Jay Dee and McLean and my comments here, remembering Millie, Cardiff home, John who had polio. I am hardly mocking or being rude; this is a forum open for comment and memories, it’s not gossip, I’m sharing my memories which may not fit with every single commenter.
        My whole life became focused on the east coast right after high school, I hardly stayed in touch with anyone. Surely you appreciate how exciting it can be to read about people you knew long ago but have keen memories of, over fifty years past. It’s why everyone is coming to the Charley Ross site, is it not.
        I sure didn’t want to interfere with anyone discovering more about little David Joseph Miera. I don’t believe I have. Be grateful for the expansive detective work. Get off your high horse.

  14. Susan Salas September 20, 2016 / 10:10 pm

    HOLYCOW Me on a high horse, I don’t think so! LOL!! Not a word made up egh??? I don’t have the time or patients to correct your rumours, so be it. Mix a few facts with fiction and this is what one gets people gossiping about people. You know ol’ Ted Bundy was quite a charmer, one cannot “know” the gossip surrounding a person’s “wacky family” to conclude that that person is a murderer.

  15. Girley March 23, 2017 / 5:51 pm

    The Leon from Ogden UT that was murdered? Also went by Ogilvie. He was my first love. He was murdered by the man that sexually abused his little sister. Horrible.

  16. Peter Gerard Gentala April 11, 2018 / 5:58 pm

    I may be David. I know that I am not the child of the woman who raised me nor the sibling of the ones I was raised with.

    I woke up with bandages and was told who my mother was. I knew she wasn’t my mother, even though she was dark haired like my mother. I twice resisted, and was sedated, after which I gave up. My bandages were taken off as soon as I was brought to the house in Denver. Supposedly I was hit by a speeding car that morning, and yet had no broken bones, no blood, no bruises, no pain. I was told I had amnesia and raised in an impoverished family with no car. I was made to be sick and kept indoors until school age. I was blonde with black eyes, but the blonde hair turned brown just as soon as I could wash my own hair. I had no pictures from before that day. I remember holding up two fingers and saying I was 2, but being corrected and them saying I was 3.

    I do remember one of those toys that hang down and twirl over the bed, but my supposed mother didn’t have that toy with my younger brother. I also remember being in the back seat of a car several times, and yet supposedly my father left the family destitute when I was 9 months old, and we had no car all the years I grew up.

    I seemed to have been closely watched my entire life, which absolutely makes no sense to me, especially if I am David, for I would have no idea why this would be so. But so far, he is the missing child that matches me best.

    I am dark complected, people always thinking I was Italian, Spanish or Greek, not the German and Finnish I am supposed to be. My tan keeps so well that my arms tend to be darker than those of most Mexicans in the winter months.

    I don’t look like the age progressed picture of David at all. I do look like the picture of Zerfas in the article, albeit a bit darker.

    I have DNA on sites, but the DNA describes a blonde, light eyed, light skinned person, which is definitely not me. I believe the DNA was switched with my supposed brother Paul, who is blonde, light skinned and blue eyed. I believe there has been a concerted effort to keep me from finding out who I am. Again I have no idea why this would be if I am indeed David, as I wouldn’t think it would be that important.

    I would love to meet the sister of David to see if we are truly siblings.

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