Elizabeth Lea Franks

Elizabeth, circa 1965; Age-progression of Elizabeth to age 57 (circa 2004)

  • Missing Since 04/14/1965
  • Missing From Toledo, Ohio
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Female
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/10/1947 (76)
  • Age 17 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 95 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian female. Red hair, blue eyes. Elizabeth's nicknames are Beth and Bethie. Her maiden name is McCarthy and she may use the last name Wilson. She has a small mole on the back of her left thigh and a chicken pox scar on her nose.

Details of Disappearance

Elizabeth was last seen in Toledo, Ohio on April 14, 1965. She was married to a twenty-year-old man at the time of her disappearance. They had a young daughter and lived in the 1500 block of Western Avenue in Toledo.

Elizabeth's husband said they had an argument after he caught Elizabeth with another man, and she packed her belongings and left.

In 2004, investigators reopened her case and stated that they believed Elizabeth had been murdered. She has not contacted any of her loved ones since 1965, there has been no activity on her Social Security number, and police could not find any signs of trouble in her life that would lead her to drop out of sight so completely and for so long.

Elizabeth's mother last saw her just before Easter in 1965. She went to her home a few days later to drop off Easter baskets. No one was at the residence but the landlady let her in. Elizabeth's mother says the apartment was in disarray, with the drapes torn and clothes strewn everywhere. The baby's bed had no bedding on it.

The landlady told Elizabeth's mother she had heard a lot of commotion coming from the apartment the previous night. Elizabeth's mother reported her daughter missing after receiving this information and seeing the state the apartment was in, and also hired a private detective to search for her daughter.

Investigators consider Elizabeth's husband to be a "person of interest" in her disappearance. The re-interviewed him in 2004. He had since divorced Elizabeth and remarried twice.

Their daughter lived with her father's relatives after her mother's disappearance, then with her father for a few years, then in a children's home. She did not get to know her mother's family until she was an adult.

The case received some more attention in 2022, when police dive teams searched a quarry in Genoa, Ohio for evidence in Elizabeth's case. They were looking for a submerged vehicle they thought was related to her disappearance. The divers found two cars and they were pulled from the quarry, but neither was the vehicle police were looking for, and no evidence in Elizabeth's disappearance was located.

Elizabeth attended Genoa High School, where she was a member of the chess club, but she did not graduate. She was also a Girl Scout and a member of a local church. She got married about a year prior to her disappearance, after she became pregnant. Her case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

Investigating Agency

  • Toledo Police Department 419-245-3142

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 27, 2022; details of disappearance updated.