Filed under: Stalking
Nailah Franklin’s ex-boyfriend, Reginald Potts, has been charged with her murder. Potts, who had a history of violent behavior, seemed the best suspect all along. There were huge discussions on blog entries posted at CrimeBlog.US about the question of Potts’s guilt or innocence, complete with people who purported to be Potts’s friends posting e-mails from him. At the time I removed those e-mail texts from the comments. They will be returned, if they are still on the servers holding data from that blog. Nailah Franklin, age 28, disappeared on September 19. She was found just over a week later in Calumet City. Police had to use dental records to identify Nailah’s remains. Blogging and writing in general have been slow this week due to illness, but I’m improving and will update this entry throughout the weekend.
(CHECK FOR UPDATES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE ENTRY.) Authorities have not said that human remains found in Calumet City, Illinois are Nailah O. Franklin’s, but her family has come to the area where the unidentified body was found on Thursday. The nude body was found in the Wentworth Woods Forest Preserve, very close to Hammond, Indiana. Nailah’s Chevy Impala was found parked at a vacant house in Hammond after the 28-year-old pharmaceutical rep’s disappearance on or about September 18, 2007. Some of Nailah’s personal effects had also been found in Calumet City after she vanished. A reader commented on the first entry about Nailah’s disappearance that the website set up to help further the search for the missing woman was no longer accessible as of Thursday morning. The possibility that the dead body in the Wentworth Woods Preserve is Nailah Franklin unfortunately seems pretty solid. Google Maps seems to indicate that the preserve is less than one mile from 6311 Blaine Ave. in Hammond, where Nailah’s car was discovered. CrimeBlog.US is seeking further information about Nailah’s disappearance and any potential suspects in the case. If you have any additional tips or information, please use this contact form. Updates will be posted below as needed. UPDATE 1, 12:01 p.m. ET MSNBC has reported that Nailah Franklin’s family has confirmed that the body found in the Wentworth Woods Forest Preserve was Nailah’s. Their source for this information was apparently a Chicago-area TV station. Reporters there say they received the confirmation from Nailah’s uncle, who has been acting as a spokesperson for the Franklin family. Additional source(s):
(NOTE: For a number of reasons I have changed my mind about the use of this weblog. It will remain in use for the time being. The entries will be cross-posts from CrimeBlog.US. This weblog will hold the most popular posts from that site, since my host for CrimeBlog.US will charge a substantial amount of money per year for additional bandwidth — more than I can currently afford. ~ Steve Huff)
(BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES.)
Nailah [Nigh-EE-luh] Franklin has been missing since Tuesday. Franklin’s family fears the attractive 28-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep may have met with foul play. They may have reason to worry. Before she disappeared, Nailah Franklin allegedly received threats from a male acquaintance.
No one has seen Nailah since Sunday. Her boyfriend in Milwaukee received a text message from Nailah around 8:15 on Tuesday, Sept. 18. She said at the time that she was having dinner and would call him when she was done.
Nailah had a meeting scheduled for Wednesday the 19th. She didn’t show, so her employer began calling Nailah’s family. A relative then called police.
Nailah’s sister Lehia Franklin Adcox said the following to Chicago’s ABC 7: “I do believe she’s in distress. She’s not the kind of person who would just leave without a trace.”
Dana McClellan, a good friend of Nailah’s, also spoke to the ABC affiliate — “It defies explanation. That sounds dramatic, but she’s not the type of person who just leaves.”
McClellan heard at least one of the threats left for her friend. CBS 2 in Chicago reported her statement about that chilling message: “Basically [the message said] ‘I could do harm to you. You haven’t seen that side, of me but I do have a bad side and I could do harm to you’.”
Lehia Adcox also spoke to CBS 2. She said, “This is someone who just had everything to live for; she was at the top of her game professionally; she bought two condos on her own as a single woman; she dotes on her niece, my daughter; she’s just a person who is very connected with the people she cares about [. . .] This is so out of character.”
Nailah Franklin is 5′2″ and weighs about 115 lbs. Her vehicle is missing as well. It is a 2005 gray [NOTE: an e-mail from Nailah’s sister to family and friends indicated the Impala might be black, rather than gray. The message was posted on a Facebook group dedicated to finding Nailah] Chevrolet Impala, license plate #1957855.
Nailah’s MySpace page is locked, and it shows a login date of September 20. This could have been from investigators looking into her e-mail messages. However, there were at least 2 computers missing from Nailah’s condo in the 1500 block of S. Sangamon.
A search engine cached Nailah’s profile on or about September 7th, so it had only recently been made private. Some statements made on the page revealed sass and wit. About herself, Nailah wrote:
Nailah loved the ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, and she said on her profile that she watched Oprah every day. Her interests were in traveling, but she was also a bit of a “tech geek.” From her ‘General Interests’: “I love gadgets (love my Treo 650)…they entertain me.”
She was a music-lover as well:
Nailah’s hero? According to her MySpace profile, her grandmother: “… I don’t think I know a stronger woman.”
Nailah Franklin’s sense of humor was apparent when she answered the standard MySpace profile question about who she would “like to meet”:
She was a popular young woman, with 175 friends as of Sept. 7 and nearly 200 comments from those friends.
In addition to her MySpace profile, Nailah also had a little-used Friendster account.
During her time as a student at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Nailah apparently wrote some articles for the student paper, the Daily Illini. One of her articles, written in April of 1998, was about men against sexual assault. From the article:
The article didn’t touch on the related issue of males who stalk women after the breakup of a relationship.
Anyone with information relating to Nailah Franklin’s disappearance needs to call (312) 746-9259.
This entry will be updated below.
UPDATE 1, 12:51 p.m. ET
I have received a response from a producer at America’s Most Wanted after e-mailing the link to this blog entry to several news outlets, so they are aware of Nailah’s story so far. MSNBC has already mentioned Nailah as part of their regular late-morning early-afternoon news coverage.
One of Nailah’s sisters, Marina Franklin, is a stand-up comedian. The link takes you to her MySpace page, where she has changed her profile photo and headline. The profile pic is an image of Nailah, and Marina’s headline now reads, “This is my sister’s Photo. Have you seen Nailah? She has been missing since 9/19/07.”
Marina Franklin has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Showtime at the Apollo, several other shows on Comedy Central, and NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season II.
In one of Marina’s Comedy Central appearances she mentioned Nailah:
Also — Nailah Franklin’s MySpace, www.myspace.com/missnailah, was locked when this blog entry was first posted. The login date has not changed from 9/20/07, but the MySpace was open again as of 1:00 p.m. ET on Sept. 21.
UPDATE 2, 5:09 p.m. ET
At one time, Nailah Franklin had an online profile mapping some of her favorite routes to run through downtown Chicago. She had not entered a new route since August of 2006, but if her residence was the same, such a profile would have been a stalker’s virtual roadmap of places Nailah knew and frequented in that part of downtown.
UPDATE 3, 10:42 p.m. ET
In the comments left on the original version of this entry at CrimeBlog.US, “Fara” noted this thread at CafePharma.com. In a thread begun in the anonymous Eli Lilly rep forum on August 29, 2007, a nameless poster asked: “I heard Lilly has GPS tracking devices in company cars and laptops. Is this true?”
The final post (so far) in the thread was made on 9/18/2007, the same day Nailah Franklin apparently disappeared. That person wrote:
Fara seemed to think the thread was begun on the 18th. If that had been the case, this series of anonymous posts on a message board for the company employing Nailah Franklin at the time of her disappearance would have seemed very suspicious. Nailah’s car and at least two of her computers are missing, after all.
It is a strange enough question that I’d probably want to know the IP address of the poster, but since it was actually asked over two weeks before Nailah vanished, it may have no connection to the sales rep’s disappearance.
Related link: http://blackandmissing.blogspot.com/.
Additional source: http://www.chicagotribune.com/.