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Latest Missing Person Video for charles-christopher-francis
Latest Missing Person Photos for
Missing Charles Christopher Francis
Charles, circa 1979; Age progression forensics photo to age 40 (circa 2012); James Crummel
Missing Since 04/09/1979
Santa Ana, California
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 03/29/1972 (48)
Age 7 years old
Height and Weight 3'0, 45 pounds
Clothing/Jewelry Description A blue denim Levi's jacket with U.S. Army patches on the arms and pockets, a multicolored t-shirt and blue pants.
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Charles has a scar on his forehead. His nicknames are Chris, Chrissy and Christy.
Details of Disappearance Francis was last seen in Santa Ana, California on April 9, 1979. He had gone to work that day with his father, Dennis, who delivered water tanks to businesses and private homes.
After Dennis finished work, he left Charles at the corner of Chestnut Avenue and Lyon Street while he went to unload his truck. He didn't want his boss to find out he'd taken Charles along with him, because children were not allowed to ride in the trucks. Dennis told his son to walk to an address in the 300 block of south Lyon Street and wait to be picked up.
When Dennis went to the designated location ten minutes later, Charles was gone. His father searched the neighborhood for half an hour, then notified the police.
Charles's parents were fighting over custody of him at the time of his disappearance. His mother had legal custody, but he had lived with Dennis for most of his life. He and his father had traveled from Colorado to California three weeks beforehand, in order for Dennis to attend a custody hearing scheduled for April 26. Authorities looked into the possibility that one of the child's parents was hiding him, but found no evidence to support this theory.
A photo of Crummel is posted with this case summary. In August 1967, he abducted a fourteen-year-old Wisconsin boy, molested him and beat him almost to death. He served five years of a thirty-year sentence for the crime. In 1983, he was convicted of the February 1967 murder of an Arizona boy and sentenced to life in prison, but the conviction was overturned in 1987 because of ineffective counsel. He ended up pleading guilty to kidnapping in the Arizona case and was released later that year.
In 1997, Crummel was charged with the murder of a thirteen-year-old neighbor boy, James Wilfred "Jamey" Trotter. Jamey disappeared in 1979. In 1990, Crummel "discovered" the teen's skull, but it wasn't identified until 1996. After his murder arrest, investigators approached Crummel about Jack's case and he offered to confess to Jack's murder if prosecutors would not seek the death penalty for the Trotter murder.
Charles is missing under suspicious circumstances and investigators believe he may have met with foul play. His case remains unsolved.
Investigating Agency / Department