Charles Christopher Francis

On April 9, 1979, Francis was last seen in Santa Ana, California. Together with his father Dennis, who delivered water tanks to businesses and private homes. he had gone to work that day.

Charles was left at the intersection of Chestnut Avenue and Lyon Street by Dennis after he finished his work while he went to unload his truck. Charles was not allowed to ride in the trucks, so he didn’t want his boss to find out he had brought him along. In the 300 block of South Lyon Street, Dennis instructed his son to go and wait for a ride.

Ten minutes later, when Dennis arrived at the specified location, Charles was no longer there. After spending thirty minutes looking around the area, his father called the police.

At the time of Charles’ disappearance, his parents were arguing over who should have custody of him. Although he had spent the majority of his life with Dennis, his mother had legal custody of him. Three weeks prior, Dennis and his father had flown from Colorado to California so that Dennis could attend a custody hearing that was scheduled for April 26. Authorities investigated the possibility that one of the child’s parents might be keeping him secret, but they were unable to find any proof to back up this theory.

The main suspect in Charles’ disappearance, as well as in the 1995 disappearance of 9-year-old Jack Phillips from Big Bear Lake, California, is convicted child killer James Crummel. He had a history of sexually abusing children in a violent manner, dating back to the 1960s. Except for one, all of his known victims were boys who were roughly Charles’ and Jack’s age.

With this case summary is a picture of Crummel. He kidnapped a Wisconsin boy, age 14, in August 1967, molested him, and beat him nearly to death. A thirty-year sentence for the crime was served by him in five years. He was found guilty in 1983 of killing an Arizona boy in February 1967 and given a life sentence; however, the conviction was overturned in 1987 due to insufficient legal representation. He ultimately entered a plea of guilty to kidnapping in the Arizona case and was later freed.

James Wilfred “Jamey” Trotter, a thirteen-year-old neighbor boy, was killed in 1997, and Crummel was accused of the crime. 1979 saw Jamey vanish. The teen’s skull was “discovered” by Crummel in 1990, but it wasn’t recognized until 1996. Investigators asked Crummel about Jack’s case after his murder arrest, and he said he would confess to Jack’s killing if the Trotter murder case did not result in the death penalty.

The offer was rejected, and Crummel was found guilty of killing Jamey Trotter in 2004 and given the death penalty. He hanged himself with an electric cord in June 2012 while he was on death row. No note was left behind by him.

Charles is missing under suspicious circumstances and investigators believe he may have met with foul play. His case remains unsolved.

If You have any information regarding to this disappearance feel free contact with Santa Ana Police Department 714-245-8600

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