San Jose Mercury News
December 3, 1969 - front page
MISSING SUSAN NASON
In San Mateo
The body of missing nine-year-old Susan Nason of Foster City, her head caved in by a severe blow behind the right ear, was found Tuesday in the Crystal Springs Lake area of San Mateo County.
The girl disappeared from her home Sept. 22. She has been dead for more than two months, according to the county coroner.
Positive identification was made from her dental charts, a silver ring on her right middle finger, and material from the dress she was wearing under a pair of blue jeans.
The girl's body was so badly decomposed that police say it is impossible to determine is she had been sexually molested.
Foster City Police Chief Gordon Penfold said Tuesday night that the child's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Nason, were "in shock."
"They've had an emotional collapse," Penfold said.
He exhibited a hemline from Susan's red, green, and blue print cotton dress and said Mrs. Nason had identified the stitch work as her own.
A shoe and the girl's underclothing also were definitely identified.
The blow to her head is listed as the probable cause of death.
The body, discovered by a patrolman for the San Francisco Watershed Department, was found 35 feet down an embankment of the San Mateo-Half Moon Bay road, about 1 1/2 miles west of Skyline Boulevard.
County Coroner Paul Jensen said there was a small bit of light brown hair left on the girl's skull. She also wore a bra, one white sock, and one brown buckle shoe.
Foster City Police appeared pessimistic about solving the Nason case. One officer said that leads were scarce in September and "they are just as scarce now."
"This is going to be a tough case to crack," Penhold said. "But we've got the Sheriff's Office with us now."
One the day she disappeared Susan had come home from school in Foster City, a man-made island in the bay. The neighborhood is fairly isolated, with only one road in and out.
She asked her mother's permission to take a friend's gym shoes to her. She left the house about 4 p.m. and was never seen again.
Neighbors searched the many canals in Foster City and parent patrols began watching their children as they went back and forth to school, fearing the kidnapper might strike again. Divers scoured the canals but found no body.