Mattie Lou Zabel
North American Missing Persons Network
Mattie Lou Zabel

Above Images: Zabel

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: March 21, 1978 from Waterloo, Black Hawk County, Iowa
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: March 7, 1933
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 5'2"
  • Weight: 118 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Female
  • Medical Conditions: Depression.
  • Case Number: 78-459

  • Details of Disappearance
    Mattie Lou Zabel, a 45-year-old teacherís aide who worked at River Hills School in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was reported missing to the Cedar Falls Police Department on March 21, 1978. Zabel was last seen by her family on March 21, 1978, in her hometown of Cedar Falls.

    She left a frozen chicken thawing in kitchen sink for dinner. No clothing was taken and she would not have had the assets to just walk away.

    She left behind her husband, Jack, and three children.

    The day after she went missing, one of Zabelís sons found her car at Black Hawk Park in Cedar Falls. He said his mother often liked to go out to the park and walk. The vehicle was found locked with Zabelís purse inside.

    An extensive search by Black Hawk County sheriffís deputies, search dogs, divers and a National Guard helicopter turned up no trace of Mrs. Zabel.

    Her credit cards were monitored for years afterwards, but they were never used. Seven years after Mattie Zabel vanished, a Black Hawk County judge declared her legally dead.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Cedar Falls Police Department

    Source Information
    Iowa Cold Cases