Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Disappearance and Murder of Franchesca Alvarado

image source:

Franchesca Alvarado had a lot to look forward to during early 2012. The then-22-year-old woman was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time, and she was ready to begin her next chapter in life. Franchesca had plans to enroll at the Community College of Philadelphia, as she hoped to pursue a criminal justice degree. Unfortunately, she would never have a chance to take this step - as she vanished on March 17th, 2012.

According to reports, Franchesca arranged for a babysitter to care for her then-3-year-old daughter before leaving for Atlantic City to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. She was reportedly accompanied by Tracy Williams, an older male acquaintance. Franchesca never returned home from this trip, and her loved ones never heard from her again.

Franchesca's siblings knew something was off when days passed without any contact from her. One of her sisters, Frances, decided to go to Franchesca's home in Hunting Park to check in. Frances was greeted by Franchesca's roommate, who said that Franchesca would be back from Atlantic City in two weeks. This seemed odd, as it did not seem likely that Franchesca would take a trip that long without telling her family. 

Eventually, Franchesca's loved ones reported her missing. They then passed out fliers, organized rallies, and continuously searched for Franchesca. Meanwhile, police searched for leads. Tracy Williams was questioned, and he reportedly told police that he and Franchesca separated at some point during their night in Atlantic City. He said that he last saw her by the Borgata. Franchesca's roommate was also questioned but was reportedly uncooperative. 

Over a year later, in August 2013, a fisherman at Corson’s Inlet State Park in Ocean City found a severed foot floating in the water. The foot was still wearing an Adidas high-top sneaker, which led both police and Franchesca’s loved ones to believe that the foot did, in fact, belong to Franchesca. This was officially confirmed just a few days later.

At that point, it became clear that Franchesca met with foul play. To this day, many questions remain. What happened to Franchesca? Who is responsible for her death?


More about Franchesca.

image source: Philly Inquirer

As previously stated, Franchesca - known as 'Cheka' by those closest to her - lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the time of her disappearance. She was the youngest of 8 siblings and was very close with her family. Franchesca and her siblings had a rough childhood; as Franchesca’s father went to prison shortly after her birth, and her mother died when she was just 9 years old. Franchesca was subsequently raised by one of her older sisters. 

Despite these hardships, Franchesca remained a positive person. According to her loved ones, Franchesca had a happy energy and sparkling personality. She enjoyed crafts and had a not-so-secret crush on Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson. Franchesca was also a dedicated mother to her daughter, whom she gave birth to when she was just 19 years old.

The disappearance.

As also previously noted, Franchesca disappeared after going to Atlantic City - a place she went to frequently. Franchesca often went there to blow off steam and enjoy a fun time with friends. She took this particular trip to Atlantic City with a man named Tracy Williams - who is described in reports as an older male acquaintance. 

When Franchesca did not return from this trip, both her family members and police inevitably wanted to speak with Williams. He maintained that he separated from Franchesca at some point during the night after she told him that she would find her own ride home. Williams claims he last saw her by the Borgata. Despite his insistence that he did not have any information about Franchesca's whereabouts, Williams still refused to take a polygraph exam, which raised suspicions against him.

Potential persons of interest.

From the beginning, Tracy Williams was an obvious person of interest - however he was not the only person whom the family and police found suspicious. Franchesca's roommate at the time of her disappearance - Tonya Alavarez - also raised some questions. 

image source: Find Franchesca Cheka Alvarado (Facebook)

As mentioned earlier, Alavarez told Franchesca's siblings that Franchesca planned to be in Atlantic City for two weeks. Franchesca's siblings knew this was likely untrue, as it seemed unlikely that she would take such a long trip without her daughter AND without mentioning it to her family. Additionally, Alavarez reportedly declined to cooperate with the authorities investigating Franchesca's disappearance. 

Investigators also inevitably wanted to question any potential romantic partners of Franchesca's. Her siblings note that Franchesca's ex-boyfriend is now currently in prison on federal gun charges unrelated to Franchesca's case. It's unclear if he was ever a major person of interest in Franchesca's disappearance and/or murder.

The discovery of remains.

Franchesca's severed foot was found by a fisherman at Corson's Inlet State Park during August 2013. The foot still had her shoe on it - which ultimately helped investigators identify the remains.

Image source: Philadelphia Inquirer

Knowing that there had to be more remains out there, Franchesca's family continued their quest to find answers. They conducted several internet searches for "human remains found" and "bones found" - which led them to learn that a human femur and tibia had washed ashore. In 2015, both were finally identified as that of Franchesca Alvarado. The rest of her remains have never been found.

A murder investigation.

Franchesca's case shifted to a murder investigation after the discovery of the remains. However, no arrests have ever been made. Investigators have also never disclosed an exact cause of death. Tracy Williams, Tonya Alavarez, and possibly other individuals still remain persons of interest. 

Franchesca's family members are still fighting for answers. If you have any information that could help the investigation, please contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-462-2899.


Find Franchesca Cheka Alvarado Facebook
Fox 29
Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Obituary Project

No comments:

Post a Comment