Flashback Friday: Francis Wells

This week’s Flashback Friday case is Francis Loretta Heath Wells, who disappeared somewhere between Crossett, Arkansas and El Paso, Texas. She boarded a bus in Crossett bound for El Paso on August 13, 1974; her luggage arrived there but she didn’t.

Google Maps says it’s a 955-mile trip between the two cities. I don’t have anything else on Francis’s disappearance and to make matters worse, the only photo I’ve got is both of poor quality and 20 years out of date.

If she’s still alive, Francis would be 86 years old today.

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5 thoughts on “Flashback Friday: Francis Wells

  1. Melinda March 11, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    It IS a mystery, isn’t it? She and my maternal grandmother who died in 1999 were born the same year…they would both be 86 now. I wonder if she met with foul play somehow on her trip.

    The spelling of her name is unique too. Most of the time, Francis with an “i” is masculine while Frances with an “e” is the feminine version. It’s a pity there is no better photo of her and no other details available in her case.
    I wonder if she has any relatives or friends still living…although I’m sure they would be elderly by now if they are. Maybe she crossed paths with the wrong person(s) on her trip and they harmed her.

    • Meaghan March 15, 2016 / 1:21 am

      As she was born in a less educated age (particularly for African-Americans), perhaps her parents just couldn’t spell. Frances and Francis are pronounced either identically or nearly so. I have a maternal great-aunt named Wanita, or maybe it’s Wonita, I’m not sure. Her parents had heard the name Juanita somewhere and thought it was pretty, but didn’t know how to spell it.

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