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View Full Version : Found Deceased TX - Opal Jennings, 6, Fort Worth, 1999



Texana
01-01-2004, 02:56 PM
This just in today on Houston news channel KTRK/ABC affiliate:

http://www/abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/state/010104_APstate_skeletallhtml

I hope this link works--the website it www.abc13.com

Summarizing, skeletal remains of a child have been recovered about 10 miles from where Opal Jennings went missing in 1999, abducted from her grandparents' front yard. Her kidnapper is serving life in prison for her abduction but has never been tried for murder.

I hope and pray Opal has been found. I thought we had a thread for her, but I can't find it.

WasBlind
01-02-2004, 02:23 AM
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/state/010104_APstate_skeletal.html

Lynn
01-02-2004, 02:47 AM
Search for skeletal remains continues (http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/7614942.htm)

By Chris Vaughn
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH -- For the second full day, homicide detectives and crime-scene officers meticulously combed a brushy field in northwest Fort Worth where what is believed to be part of a child's skull was found this week.

Sgt. J.D. Thornton, who leads the Fort Worth homicide detectives, said they found additional bones at the site Thursday but could not determine whether they were animal or human.

continues....

Texana
01-02-2004, 09:34 PM
Thanks, Lynn!

Latest word from Dallas Morning News is that they found a pair of pink Barbie tennis shoes as well, which is what Opal was wearing when she was abducted.

blueclouds
01-03-2004, 12:26 AM
here's another thread

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040102_1596.html

Lynn
01-03-2004, 01:39 AM
your welcome Texana :-)

Remains Tentatively Identified as Clarksville Girl Missing Since 1999 (http://www.arkansasnbc.com/Global/story.asp?S=1585399&nav=F8n2Jxwg)

The six-year-old girl originally from Clarksville, Arkansas, disappeared in March of 1999 while playing outside her grandmother's home in nearby Saginaw.

DNA testing results could take up to six weeks.

Richard Lee Franks of Fort Worth was convicted of aggravated kidnapping in the abduction.

Richard Franks, life in prison for this???

Texana
01-03-2004, 09:34 PM
It sounds like from the exact match of shoe (size 13 pink Barbie tennis) and some other items, plus the general age and condition of the bone fragments, this is indeed Opal.

I'm amazed Franks' first trial was a deadlocked jury! Although the evidence was circumstancial, it was still strong enough IMO to convict the sorry SOB. He drove a car that matched the description, he changed his appearance radically the day after she was abducted (and the description matched him) and he even confessed to having her in his car--although he later tried to recant that. Apparently, he had thoroughly cleaned his car, and with the length of time between his arrest and the abduction, they couldn't recover any fingerprints inside the car--something was said then about the heat and humidity here destroying evidence. And with no recovery of the body, there would always be some idiot on the jury who would hold off on a murder conviction. Oh, and I forgot, he's a convicted sex offender as well.

Maybe they can bring him to trial now for her murder. He had no reason to give up her location, because he knows if he goes to trial, he'll get lethal injection. He deserves it.

For some reason, the loss of this child really grabbed my heart. I have two daughters, and had Opal lived, she would be about as old as my oldest now, and the youngest is only a little older than her when she was abducted. And being a Texan child as well--near a city I've always loved--I have just never stopped grieving and praying for this child. I've always known in my heart she was killed by that SOB, but I thought I would feel better when they did finally recover her.

Instead, I just feel even more saddened.

Up2theminute
01-03-2004, 10:02 PM
Was Opal kidnapped from Clarksville, Arkansas or Saginaw, Texas? I have seen two different locations listed as the 'missing from' on different websites.

izzyB
01-03-2004, 11:14 PM
Was Opal kidnapped from Clarksville, Arkansas or Saginaw, Texas? I have seen two different locations listed as the 'missing from' on different websites.


opal was kidnapped from her grandmother's yard in texas while playing with her cousin who i believe was 2 at the time.

opal's mother and other relatives held a news conference yesterday, but i did not see opal's grandmother. does anyone know her status?

blueclouds
01-04-2004, 02:35 AM
opal was kidnapped from her grandmother's yard in texas while playing with her cousin who i believe was 2 at the time.

opal's mother and other relatives held a news conference yesterday, but i did not see opal's grandmother. does anyone know her status?


My understanding, as I've followed this case from day 1, Audrey Sanderford, grandmother, is in Texas (Corpus Christie), and still fighting for children's rights. I am OUTRAGED At MONTEL WILLIAMS TO CONTINUE TO ALLOW THAT SICK PSYCHIC.... SYLVIA.....to be on his show........... Sylvia, who told Audrey on a show back in ??? I believe 99, that Opal was alive and taken to southern american island by many men... Sylvia you will live in a very warm place when your time comes. Take sunscreen baby.

Uggggggggggggggg, poor Audrey for sometime, kept insisting in various newspapers that her dear granddaughter was alive somewhere.

Rest in peace Opal. There is justice, it just may take 70 or 80 years to come. Poor baby.

izzyB
01-04-2004, 08:59 AM
thanks for the info blueclouds.

Texana
01-04-2004, 11:51 AM
Thanks, Blueclouds!

I completely agree with you about the psychic. Will Montel give the true story now? Probably not. :furious:

I think the family is going to have an even harder time dealing with the recovery because of Madame Sylvia's lies.

Was it ever made public why Opal was living with her grandmother? Just curious.

Juliana
01-12-2004, 06:35 PM
They've been announcing on the radio that LE has now confirmed that the remains found a couple of weeks ago, are Opal. Prayers for her family while they prepare to lay her to rest...

http://www.nbc5i.com/index.html

blueclouds
01-12-2004, 09:35 PM
Oh how sad. What a terrible ending. But I hope Audrey can find peace now.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,108164,00.html

WasBlind
01-12-2004, 10:56 PM
Opal Jo'Dace Jennings
November 24, 1992 - March 26, 1999
Rest in peace, beautiful child, you will be so missed.

Praying for healing and justice, for Opal and all who love her.
Much love, Lanie

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

forbidn2u2
01-13-2004, 01:17 PM
http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/state/011304_APstate_missinggirl.html

6 year old's remains located after she went missing 5 years ago.

Doyle
01-15-2004, 05:43 AM
A public memorial service for Opal Jo Jennings has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Richland Hills Church of Christ, Rufe Snow Drive and Northeast Loop 820 in North Richland Hills.
http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/news/local/7706852.htm

mindys
01-15-2004, 09:29 AM
RIP Opal, you were never fogotten.

Texana
01-15-2004, 09:44 AM
Amen to that.

febedallas
01-23-2004, 12:29 AM
Was Opal kidnapped from Clarksville, Arkansas or Saginaw, Texas? I have seen two different locations listed as the 'missing from' on different websites.
opal was playing in her grandmother's front yard in saginaw with 2 of her cousins when a man came up, picked her up, punched her in the stomach, threw her in the car, and drove away. the other children went into the house to tell their grandmother, but opal was never found until just the other day. someone riding their horse in the woods, about 5 miles from her grandmother's home, found the remains/shoes.

because this is local, everyone here knows the name opal jennings immediately.

the man that was tried for her kidnapping admitted that he had some contact with her, but never confessed to killing her.

at the time of the trial, it was said that he had a below average iq.

opal was a beautiful child and what her family has gone through is a living hell. i'm sad that this happened at all, but i think finding her may help to give them some closure.

i saw sylvia brown on montel one time (she's a psychic) and she told opal's grandmother that she was getting the vision that opal was sold into white slavery. i wanted to go through the tv and shake sylvia brown.

blueclouds
01-23-2004, 11:57 AM
i saw sylvia brown on montel one time (she's a psychic) and she told opal's grandmother that she was getting the vision that opal was sold into white slavery. i wanted to go through the tv and shake sylvia brown.


Just cut your quote to this point. That's what I spoke of in the above post too!! I am absolutely furious. When I went to Sylvia's site, it said she doesn't read emails. I am still thinking about emailing Montel's show though. Somehow there has to be accountability for giving false hope or sick "psychic visions" like that. I can't stand her. You're going to burn Sylvia Brown. I am so glad that someone else remembered that show too.

febedallas
01-23-2004, 12:49 PM
Just cut your quote to this point. That's what I spoke of in the above post too!! I am absolutely furious. When I went to Sylvia's site, it said she doesn't read emails. I am still thinking about emailing Montel's show though. Somehow there has to be accountability for giving false hope or sick "psychic visions" like that. I can't stand her. You're going to burn Sylvia Brown. I am so glad that someone else remembered that show too.
i totally remember that. how could you tell a grandmother something like that on national tv? can you imagine the visions in their heads of what opal might be going through? i have always liked montel but he needs to rethink having her back. i'm glad you remembered it, too. (how could you forget?)

LP Moderator
01-23-2004, 01:42 PM
Doyle
Administrator Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 458

A public memorial service for Opal Jo Jennings has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Richland Hills Church of Christ, Rufe Snow Drive and Northeast Loop 820 in North Richland Hills.
http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram...cal/7706852.htm


JUST WANTED TO BUMP THIS UP AS ITS TOMORROW.

mindys
01-25-2004, 02:57 PM
Just cut your quote to this point. That's what I spoke of in the above post too!! I am absolutely furious. When I went to Sylvia's site, it said she doesn't read emails. I am still thinking about emailing Montel's show though. Somehow there has to be accountability for giving false hope or sick "psychic visions" like that. I can't stand her. You're going to burn Sylvia Brown. I am so glad that someone else remembered that show too.Ya know, I follow the Audrey Herron page and Sylvia just devastated them when she did a reading on Audrey. They just don't buy any part of what she said. I would be more inclined to go to John Edward only.

http://www.johnedward.net/

mindys
01-25-2004, 03:01 PM
Opal laid to rest in cemetary across the street from her school, Public Memorial Service followed:

http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/7793359.htm

Texana
01-25-2004, 11:51 PM
opal was playing in her grandmother's front yard in saginaw with 2 of her cousins when a man came up, picked her up, punched her in the stomach, threw her in the car, and drove away. the other children went into the house to tell their grandmother, but opal was never found until just the other day. someone riding their horse in the woods, about 5 miles from her grandmother's home, found the remains/shoes.

because this is local, everyone here knows the name opal jennings immediately.

the man that was tried for her kidnapping admitted that he had some contact with her, but never confessed to killing her.

at the time of the trial, it was said that he had a below average iq.

opal was a beautiful child and what her family has gone through is a living hell. i'm sad that this happened at all, but i think finding her may help to give them some closure.

i saw sylvia brown on montel one time (she's a psychic) and she told opal's grandmother that she was getting the vision that opal was sold into white slavery. i wanted to go through the tv and shake sylvia brown.

I could not agree with you more about Sylvia Brown's lies. What an incredible outrage, that people like her are allowed to spew their garbage, and there is no sense of moral outrage.

As for Richard Franks, Opal's confessed kidnapper (hope I got his name exactly right) he only claimed the below average IQ AFTER he saw he was going to go down for his crime. He was married and held down a job before that--he may not be the sharpest crayon in the box, but he is definitely aware of his actions, the moral right/wrong of them, and the consequences of them. One of the most telling pieces of evidences was that he completely matched the description of the kidnapper, but the day AFTER she was taken, he suddenly and radically changed his appearance. Not the actions of a mentally retarded or below average IQ person.

Opal was found very near to where a tip from an anonymous source--reportedly someone close to Franks--said she was. Texas Equusearch looked there recently but not close enough to the exact place.

So Franks has told someone where he left Opal.

Opal's family seems to have had a hard time dealing with the possiblity she wouldn't return, and we can lay some blame to the so called psychic who gave them that piece of garbage information.

Opal is near and dear to my heart. I have prayed for her many times since her abduction. I am so glad she has been found, at last, but I am so sad as well.

LP Moderator
01-26-2004, 01:06 PM
On a personal note, I just want to thank you for NOT saying that the family has closure. I can tell you that it doesn't exist. No matter what they find, no matter what they do to the man who murdered this beautiful little girl, there's no such thing as "Closure" and I wish that word was removed from any talk of the missing/recovered cases.

johnny
01-27-2004, 12:26 AM
Anna Salter nailed it in her book Predators.............Afterward, of course---if the victim survives---life looks different. The positive illusions that sustain us can shatter in the face of trauma. And what is left is a very different world.

Texana
01-28-2004, 01:11 AM
On a personal note, I just want to thank you for NOT saying that the family has closure. I can tell you that it doesn't exist. No matter what they find, no matter what they do to the man who murdered this beautiful little girl, there's no such thing as "Closure" and I wish that word was removed from any talk of the missing/recovered cases.

I agree. I think "closure" is another word sometimes for, "We wish you would quit talking about these painful things, because they bother the rest of us."
JM perhaps cynical opinion.

Peace in terms of not having the awful uncertainty anymore, but not closure.

Texana
01-28-2004, 01:15 AM
Anna Salter nailed it in her book Predators.............Afterward, of course---if the victim survives---life looks different. The positive illusions that sustain us can shatter in the face of trauma. And what is left is a very different world.

OH, EXACTLY! A significant event in my life was the kidnapping and murder of a young woman we knew. It took years for me to come to terms with that--

That such evil can happen to any of us, is a hard thing to come to terms with--

WasBlind
02-23-2004, 01:43 PM
For Opal

You will not be forgotten, sweet child.

Praying for justice, Lanie

WasBlind
03-23-2004, 04:49 PM
Praying for healing and justice, for Opal and all who love her.
Much love, Lanie

johnny
03-26-2004, 09:33 AM
http://www2.amw.com/site/recent_captures/rfranks.html

August 17, 1999


Richard Lee "Ricky" Franks was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnaping and indecency with a child after admitting to authorities that he abducted six-year-old Opal Jennings.

Police say Opal was taken on March 26, 1999 from her home in Saginaw, Texas. At around 5:30 that evening, Opal was in her front yard playing with two other children when a man got out of his car, walked over to the group and grabbed Opal. Police say the man put the six-year-old in the front seat of his car and drove away.

The abductor was described to police as a white or Hispanic male with dark shoulder length hair, pulled into a ponytail. The suspect's car was described to police as a dark colored, possibly a Chrysler or Plymouth model.

The initial tip on Franks came from his probation officer. Police say the officer noticed in an April 1st probation meeting that Franks had cut his hair. The officer also noticed he was driving a car that matched the description of Opal's abductor. Frank's probation officer told the cops.

But by the time the information made its way to the investigating officers in the case, it was one of many leads. With the detectives from Saginaw forging through hundreds of leads, the Franks tip was not checked into for weeks.

Ultimately, when the cops noticed the similarities in Franks and the abductor, and that he had a criminal record, he became a suspect. To get him into custody so the officers could start their interrogation, Franks was picked up on an outstanding traffic warrant on August 17, 1999.

When he was questioned, Franks admitted that he was the man that took Opal from her front yard, but said that the six-year-old went with him willingly. Franks also told police that Opal attempted to initiate sexual contact with him.

Police and FBI searched for any trace of Opal around Franks' house and car and several areas around Saginaw. Opal has still not been found. Franks is currently being held in the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth on a $1.5 million bond.

AliSleuth
03-26-2004, 12:23 PM
have they charged him with murder now?

Juliana
03-26-2004, 03:50 PM
have they charged him with murder now?

I don't think so. I read a few months ago that Prosecutors were evaluating whether to charge him or not.


IMO

WasBlind
11-10-2004, 09:04 PM
For Opal, and all who miss her.

We haven't forgotten you.

With love, Lanie

blueclouds
11-10-2004, 11:05 PM
For Opal, and all who miss her.

We haven't forgotten you.

With love, Lanie
I think of Opal often.. and her grandmother too. I was just :furious: :furious: :furious: :furious: ravin' mad when that BI%CH sylvia browne told her that Opal was still alive in some foreign country.

UGGGGG.

GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY OPAL'dace.

RCOOKE
11-11-2004, 12:45 AM
I think of Opal often.. and her grandmother too. I was just :furious: :furious: :furious: :furious: ravin' mad when that BI%CH sylvia browne told her that Opal was still alive in some foreign country.
UGGGGG.
GOD BLESS YOUR FAMILY OPAL'dace.

To my knowledge, Browne hasn't found a single missing person yet but she didn't kill Opal.

The January memorial for Opal was beautiful. The support I saw for her family at last year's search and at the memorial shows the community still cares. I know that won't remove the pain her family has, but it does help.

Kelly
08-20-2005, 12:39 PM
Today's Project Jason-Voice for the Missing blog entry takes you behind the scenes to the women (and their organization) who search tirelessly for Joanna Rogers and Jennifer Wilkerson. This organization was founded in memory of Opal.

Link to Blog Story (http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2005/08/82005-beating-around-bushes.html)

Thank you.

Kelly

Shadow205
01-25-2007, 05:47 PM
http://thumb7.webshots.net/s/thumb3/5/36/35/14853635ahNURbenST_th.jpg (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1014853635026899127ahNURbenST)

click on the pic to enlarge

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1014853635026899127ahNURbenST