Franco Garcia, WCAS ’12, has been missing since Tuesday night and was seen last at Mary Ann’s bar in Cleveland Circle. Garcia’s absence was reported to the police Thursday afternoon after he missed work and class on Wednesday, and neither friends nor family have seen or heard from him since late Tuesday night.
Garcia was last seen wearing a white and blue button down shirt, jeans, and glasses. Police reports list his appearance as 5-foot-9, 200 pounds.
Garcia has been described by friends as approachable and happy. He lived on campus freshman and sophomore year, and then commuted from his home in West Newton the past two years. He is also involved in Boston College’s music program.
“He does marching band and the symphonic band, and he’s a member of the executive board of the symphonic band,” said Amelia Zani, A&S ’14. “He is a recognizable person around campus. That smile and his personality, he’s such a great person.”
“He’s very approachable. He’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever met. He’s so genuine, just a happy person,” said Katya Rucker, A&S ’12.
Garcia had made plans to go out with friends on Tuesday night to Mary Ann’s and then stay over with a friend in Edmond’s Hall. His car is still parked on campus.
“The plan was we would all leave Mary Ann’s together, and then he would spend the night in my room,” said Katherine Corteselli, LSOE ’12. “His car is parked by the Plex on campus, and he would just drive home the next day.”
The group of friends spent time at Mary Ann’s Tuesday night, and had plans to leave together. Corteselli said that she didn’t realize Garcia’s absence until around midnight.
“Me and a couple of my friends last saw him around midnight, and then around 1 a.m. or 12:45 we realized that he wasn’t there anymore, and we started trying to call him to see where he went, but he wasn’t answering,” Corteselli said. “The last time I saw him, we were all in a group hanging out, just talking.”
Police were able to track the call to Garcia’s phone made around 1:15 a.m., and reported that it showed him returning in the direction of campus. After 1:15 a.m., Garcia’s phone was not picked up by an cell towers.
Garcia’s friends do not know why he left early on Tuesday, and are encouraging any BC students who were at Mary Ann’s Tuesday night to send pictures to [email protected].
“We’re appealing to anyone who was at Mary Ann’s that night to post pictures even if he wasn’t in them, because we’re just trying to get as much evidence as possible from that night,” Rucker said.
Garcia’s friends held a publicity rally on Sunday to alert students and community members of his disappearance. The rally was held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. outside Mary Ann’s. Friends handed out flyers for volunteers to post around the area.
“Franco is everything you would imagine of a BC student,” Rucker said. “Definitely a man for others, so warm and genuine. I have never seen him say an unkind word about another person. He’s the type of person who is always going to be a loyal friend.”
“Usually when there are missing kids, they frame them as kids who have issues, but those aren’t labels that are true,” said a close family friend of Garcia, Genoveva Tavera.
The BC community has also been active on social media since Garcia’s disappearance was announced. The Facebook group relating to Garcia’s disappearance has over 2,000 members, and friends have been tweeting at local businesses and celebrities in an effort to spread the word.
The University has also been involved, posting on their Facebook changes about Garcia’s disappearance and sending an e-mail to students.
“I know you join me in extending your thoughts and prayers on behalf of Franco and his family during this upsetting time,” Patrick Rombalski, vice president for Student Affairs, wrote in an e-mail.
Though friends said it isn’t uncommon for Garcia to fall out of touch with his friends for a few days, they said his family always knows where he is.
“He calls his mother four times a day,” Tavera said.
Garcia missed work at CVS in Waltham on Wednesday, and friends said this was very uncharacteristic.
“He’s a hard worker, he never would miss work,” Rucker said.
Friends continue to worry about Garcia as the BC community and multiple police departments continue efforts to find him.
“If he is just laying low somewhere, the message we want to send to him is, ‘Everyone cares about you and loves you no matter what. We just want to know that you’re okay,'” Rucker said.