Parents announce teenage son's disappearance
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
The parents of 15-year-old Casa Grande sophomore Justin Franz reported on Wednesday that he's been missing since Sunday evening at approximately 10:30 p.m.
“We said goodnight to him that night and that was the last time we saw him,” said his father Roland Franz, with worry in his voice.
Franz said he and his wife, Nanette Franz, woke up to find Justin gone. They soon after discovered an extensive internet search history as well as email, text and social media messages, between Justin and what appears to be a 40-year-old male. The parents say they believe the man is a child predator.
The messages they found detailed arrangements for Justin to run away and meet the suspect — who said in his messages that he lives in Pennsylvania — in New York.
“Justin is being preyed upon and was most likely wired a ticket and money to fly to Pennsylvania or somewhere closeby,” said Roland Franz, who added that Justin is scheduled to arrive in Pennsylvania today and has plans to meet the suspect on a street corner in New York.
“If there's anything that Justin could possibly hear, we want him to hear this,” said his father. “There is no bad thing to us. We love you more than anything and we just want you home. Your safety is our only concern and you need to know that we love you and miss you.”
Justin's father added that these events came as a complete surprise to he and his wife, since Justin is such a wonderful kid. “He gets really good grades and is an overachiever in every way,” Franz said. “He's done community service work to help kids with disabilities, he volunteers at the church and raises money for charity.”
Justin's father said that while he and his wife monitor Justin's social media time carefully, the manipulation of their son by the suspect has been extreme. “The messages were some of the most coercive and cunning content you've ever seen,” he added.
This is the second 15-year-old Petaluma teen to go missing within the last week. Justin's parents, who are already working with Petaluma Police, are asking that if anyone has information regarding Justin's whereabouts, to please call Petaluma Police at 778-4372.
(Contact Janelle Wetzstein at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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