In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month I’m featuring a Hispanic missing person every day from September 15 to October 15. Today’s case is the disappearance of Patrick Joseph DiFrancesco (Hispanic) and James Woodford Johnson (white) who disappeared together from Fort Pierce, Florida on August 26, 1985.
Johnson was 61 at the time; DiFrancesco was 24. For some reason, neither of the men are listed as missing persons on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. Johnson was a certified pilot and DiFrancesco had a student pilot’s license.
DiFrancesco, the father of two, supplemented the income from his construction job by flying cocaine into Florida for a guy named Jay Crouch. I’m not sure where Johnson comes into all of this, but the two men supposedly flew out of Fort Pierce in a plane owned by Crouch, planning pick up some marijuana in either the Bahamas or in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They never returned, although there was an unverified rumor that DiFrancesco was jailed in Jamaica.
DiFrancesco’s brother believes his missing brother never left Fort Pierce at all, and that he and Johnson were murdered and buried locally.