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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Update on the missing Ms. Franklin

The Sun-Times provides it today...

There was still no sign of a 28-year-old University Village woman, missing since Tuesday, after police found her abandoned car in Indiana, police said Saturday.

The woman's car -- a 2005 Chevy Impala -- was found Friday night, outside an abandoned building in Hammond, Chicago Police said. Inside the company car assigned to Nailah Franklin, police found some of her "personal effects,'' spokeswoman Monique Bond said.

Franklin's last contact with friends and family was through text messages allegedly sent Tuesday.

A Hammond man who regularly walks past the place where the car was found said he first noticed the car Tuesday night. But it wasn't until Friday, while watching an evening newscast, that Jim Neveau began to suspect the vehicle was Franklin's.

"I memorized the plate numbers and walked back to the car to check it out, and they were the same," Neveau said Saturday. He said he had a friend call the news station, which then contacted police.

Police towed the car to Chicago to process it for "forensics and evidence processing," Bond said.

Police divers spent several hours Saturday morning searching a retention pond at the Cook County Forest Preserve River Oaks golf course near 159th Street in Calumet City, which abuts Hammond.

Police would not say what if any specific piece of evidence led them there, but authorities stopped searching the pond by late morning.

What happened to Franklin, an Eli Lilly & Co. pharmaceutical representative, remains a mystery. Her boyfriend, Andre Wright, said she visited him in Milwaukee last weekend, returning home Sunday.

"She was fine," Wright said.

On Tuesday, she allegedly sent text messages to Wright, her boss and one of her sisters, simply saying she was at dinner and would call them later. She never did, and after she missed a business meeting Wednesday, her family got worried.

Adding to their concern was that she had recently told police a man she once dated had left her threatening phone messages. Wright, who was helping to canvass Franklin's neighborhood, said she had told him the man "was a dangerous guy."

Police would not say whether they'd interviewed the man.

Asked if he had been questioned by police in connection with her disappearance, Wright said, "I've been cooperating with authorities."

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