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Missing Person from Chicago: Nailah Franklin (CROSS-POST FROM CRIMEBLOG.US)

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(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.)

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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:

I would say I am extremely passionate with people and with anything I do. Very ambitious and hard working but definitely enjoy a good time! I “work to live” rather then “live to work”. Traveling, spending quality time with family and friends are most important to me. My friends might call me a busy body, can never really sit still, always trying to figure out what I should be doing better with my life. Sort of a hopeless romantic, I tend to find the romance and beauty in people and the world around me. Everyone has a story, there’s always a lesson to be learned, and I just try to remain open to receiving it. Happiness and laughing are contagious we should all spread it.

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:

My favorite genres are jazz, R&;B (the good kind), neo soul,house music, hip hop and alternative. Favorite artist just to name a few are: Prince, Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra, George Michael,Common, Chaka Khan, Rachael Yamagata, Janet and Beyonce. What’s on heavy rotation right now?? John Legend “Once Again”-my love story. Justin Timberlake “Future Sex Love Sounds”- makes me feel sexy. Kelis “Kelis Was Here” -makes me want to be bad. Miles Davis- “Kind of Blue”, this is a classic do I need to say why?…

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”:

The person that stole my brand new leather jacket out of my locker in 10th grade…just joking (but I do still wonder who that was:) Seriously anyone who can make me laugh and has something interesting to say.I am extremely opinionated so always enjoy a healthy debate. My sister Marina in like 3 years (or sooner)….she is about to make it big and I am so proud of her. My two neices in like two years..right now they are so cute. But I know in a few years I will really have fun wiht them:) Also Oprah, Janet and Hillary Clinton!!! I think all of these women are smart, sexy and admire them.

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:

While activism against sexual violence is often associated with women, some men are also taking responsibility for the issue.

In order to raise awareness about sexual assault, a male panel held a discussion this Wednesday in the Illini Union’s Courtyard Cafe.

The purpose of the panel discussion was to raise awareness about sexual violence and encourage men to get involved in the fight against it.

Members of the Men’s Activity Committee said why they think it is important for men to get involved.

“Many people think that sexual assault is a woman issue, but it is a people issue,” said Ross Wantland, junior in LAS. “Both men and women have had their lives touched by sexual violence and men need to try to stop it as much as women do.”

Wantland said one in four females is sexually assaulted by the age of 18, and one in six assaulters [sic] will be male.

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:

My sister’s got a great African name, her name is Nailah, which means ‘one who succeeds.’ My name is Marina, it means ‘a place where you dock boats.’

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:

If this was true I would have been fired already! YIKES

I make LOTS of Pharmacy calls at Target and Costco…

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/.