Saturday, April 27, 2024

The Murder of Jenna Franks


On February 24th, 2021, street division workers in Jacksonville, North Carolina were clearing debris in a wooded area near Ellis Boulevard and White Street when they found something unexpected: a human body. Police responded to the scene, and it was quickly determined that a murder had taken place. The victim was subsequently identified as 34-year-old Jenna Franks.

Shortly after news broke about her murder, it was announced that the case was being investigated as a possible hate crime. Jenna was a transgender woman and had active involvement with the Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center. Her death has been a devastating loss for both Jenna's loved ones and members of the community. 

Authorities initially did not reveal many details about Jenna's death; only that she had been murdered, and that the FBI was assisting with the investigation. Months later, in June 2021, the results of Jenna's autopsy were revealed. The report states that she was "stabbed multiple times in the neck and lower half of her body." 

The FBI has also revealed that they believe Jenna "willingly met up with whoever is responsible for her death, not knowing her life would end." Investigators also believe it is likely that the killer is familiar with the area where Jenna's body was found. On the three-year anniversary of Jenna's murder, a detective told reporters that it's possible that the killer "may continue to live or work in the community."

Investigators ask that anyone who knew Jenna or might have information about her murder to come forward. A monetary reward is available in exchange for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of Jenna's killer(s). If you have any information that could help the investigation, please submit a tip. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Jacksonville Daily News
Human Rights Campaign
News & Observer
WNCT, (2)

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