NV NV - Anthony Franko, 10, Lemmon Valley, 8 May 1983


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May 17, 2005
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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 8, 1983 from Lemmon Valley, Nevada

Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: August 15, 1972
Age: 10 years old
Height and Weight: 4'11, 85 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Franko has a slight gap between his upper front teeth. He has small birthmarks above his left eyebrow and on the right side of his neck. Franko has two light-colored moles on his cheek and nose. He has a scar under his lower lip. Franko's nickname is Tony.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red San Francisco 49ers t-shirt, blue jeans, a blue down hooded jacket, and hiking boots.

Details of Disappearance
Franko was last seen walking to his school on the morning of May 8, 1983 in Lemmon Valley, Nevada. He was a fifth grade student at the time, and was a member of the 4-H Club. He never arrived at school and has never been heard from again.

A defrocked priest named Stephen Kiesle became a suspect in Franko's case in mid-2002. He has since been arrested and charged with molesting three girls at the Santa Paula Catholic Church in Fremont, where he worked from 1968 to 1971. Police searched his yard three times, using cadaver-sniffing dogs, radar, and a backhoe. They were looking not only for evidence in Franko'sdisappearance but also evidence in the disappearances of Jaycee Dugard, Amber Swartz-Garcia and Jennifer Martin. The only item that was located was a bag full of dirt and decomposed clothing. The searches concluded in July 2002. Franko is believed to have been abducted by a non-family member, but few details are available in his case.


Investigating Agency
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Washoe County Sheriff's Office
Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Nation's Missing Children Organization
Operation Lookout
California Attorney General's Office
The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes by Michael Newton

Twenty five years ago Thursday Anthony Franco was on his way to school in Lemmon Valley when was taken and never seen again.

While it's considered a cold case, the kidnapping is still open.

Detectives who are still involved with the case say they get information and tips on a daily basis. "We had contact in November that was a possible sighting of Tony Franco. And yet, it didn't pan out. I know that we still get calls," says Washoe County Dep. Brooke Keast.

28 Years Later, Missing Boy's Mother Still Waits, Hopes

Twenty eight years ago today a 10 year old boy left his Lemmon Valley home to walk to school. He was never seen again.

His mother still still waits for answers and clings to hope.


It's the coldest of cold cases. Deputy Brent Royle who was assigned to the case says he hasn't let it go. These days on patrol he sometimes finds himself in Tony's old neighborhood. He says he still talks with longtime residents, hoping to jar loose a memory.

There were reports 28 years ago that Tony had been seen talking at other times with an adult man who has never been identified. Investigators would like very much to identify him or anyone else who may have come into contact with Franko before he disappeared.

More: http://www.kolotv.com/home/headline..._Boys_Mother_Still_Waits_Hopes_121539504.html

While helping her 10-year-old son get ready for school in 1983, Liza Ackerman asked if she could take his 4-H ribbon to work, for mom’s bragging rights.

During the weekend, Tony Franko had shown his rabbits, Buck Rogers and Samantha, and his pony, Pepper. He did such a good job answering questions about them that he won a big blue ribbon.

Ackerman took the ribbon and went to work at a downtown bank. Franko’s stepfather was home trying to sleep after working a graveyard shift. He last heard Tony shut the door on his way to Lemmon Valley Elementary School a half-mile away.

What's sad is today I was doing more research into the Sheep Flats Jane Doe when I came across an ad in a July 1983 issue of the (I think still as) Reno Evening Gazette and it was for secret witness offering a $1,000.00 reward for Tony Franko's safe return. Upon doing some google research, it only became more depressing.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is trying to revive interest in an old Nevada case as its 30th anniversary approaches.

Ten-year-old Tony Franko disappeared on May 8, 1983.

“It’s our oldest unsolved missing child case,” said KOLO News reporter Ed Pearce, a longtime leader in the Secret Witness crime tip line program.

more at link
Bumping for Anthony, after 32 years he is still missing. Sadly, there hasn't been much progress in getting his disappearance solved. Not blaming LE specifically as this can happen due to multiple factors but still very unfortunate when it does.

From Charley Project:

Investigators believe Anthony was abducted while walking to school and probably murdered. His mother continues to hope he's still alive. No strong suspects have ever been identified in his disappearance; it remains unsolved.
Investigators are reviewing his disappearance. I didn't know that they thought he was walking towards 7-11 before school. Jennifer Martin disappeared from the same area four years later. She too was last seen at a 7-11 store, which I'm wondering if it could be the same one.

"Tony Franko: A Cold Case That Taught Hard Lessons"


"It is odd," says Detective Rick Bjelke of the Sheriff's Cold Case Unit. "but it wasn't uncommon for kids to stop off at the 7-11 before going to school."

The 7-11 is a short distance beyond the cul de sac at the south end of Fremont where Tony was last seen.

"A witness reported him leaning over and talking to an unknown subject in a rusted out, possibly a Ford Pinto or even a Camaro car."

That detail has never been widely reported. In fact, investigators didn't have that information until a couple months later when a witness came forward with a memory that hadn't seemed important at the time.

This article about the disappearance of Jennifer Martin confirms that it was the same 7-11 store.


Five years before Jennifer Martin went missing, 10-year-old Tony Franko disappeared after last being seen little more than a block from the same Lemmon Valley 7-11. The Franko case is also unsolved.

There's no obvious connection between the two crimes, but "you can't ignore it," says Bjelke.
I know it's a far throw,but any chance he was the "bobby Franco" who died in the carson Tahoe care flight crash after having been picked up for a car accident in November 1991? Also, where was the father?
I know it's a far throw,but any chance he was the "bobby Franco" who died in the carson Tahoe care flight crash after having been picked up for a car accident in November 1991? Also, where was the father?

Can you provide some background on this crash?
I feel so sad reading about this again. It seems to me that perhaps all that are needed are one or two new clues to tie AAnthony' s case to that of Jennifer Martin; one or two good new clues to solve these two tragic mysteries.

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