A widow and mother of three from Illinois, Asta Eicher responded to one of Powers' ads. Powers, under the alias Cornelius O. Pierson, went to Illinois and took Asta back to West Virginia with him in June of 1931 while the children were left under the care of Elizabeth Abernathy. Several days passed, and Abernathy received a letter from Asta saying that the children would be picked up by Pierson so that they could be reunited. When Powers arrived to pick up the children, he took them to the bank to withdrawal money from Asta's account, but was denied because the signature on the check had been forged. When neighbors asked where Asta and her children were, Powers told them that they were on vacation in Colorado. In the two months that Asta and her children were missing, Powers managed to con Dorothy Pressler Lemke from Northboro, Massachusetts into marrying him while stealing all of her money.
Wealthy widower, the ad read, worth $150,000. Has income from $400 to $2,000 a month. His profession was listed as civil engineer.
Own a beautiful 10-room brick home, completely furnished with everything that would make a good woman happy. My wife would have her own car and plenty of spending money. Would have nothing to do but enjoy herself.1