Franco Garcia, WCAS ’12, is still missing, more than three weeks since he disappeared after a night out with friends.
Garcia was last seen late at night on Tuesday, Feb. 21, after celebrating Mardi Gras at Mary Ann’s Bar in Cleveland Circle. The last time he was seen in person was inside the bar, but photos taken by a Citizens Bank security camera showed him walking toward Boston College at 12:18 a.m. Wednesday morning. A tracked cell phone call at around 1:15 a.m. also showed Garcia returning in the direction of campus, but after that time his phone was either turned off, out of battery, or damaged.
Garcia’s jacket was found in Mary Ann’s Bar after his disappearance, but no other possessions of his have been found.
Extensive searches of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and surrounding areas took place last week. Divers and K-9 teams searched the area, and sonar was used to scan the water. Despite the participation of four police departments and over 100 officers, no evidence of Garcia’s whereabouts has been found.
Regardless of the lack of progress, friends remain hopeful that Garcia is somewhere safe.
“They haven’t turned up anything and we’re taking that as a good sign because that means he’s not there,” Rachele Reis, a friend and band mate of Garcia and A&S ’12, said last week. “We can take that possibility away and focus on that he’s out there safe somewhere.”
Garcia’s mother told The Boston Globe that she believes Garcia is still alive, and is continuing to hope for a positive resolution to the ordeal.
“Maybe something happened to him, like he got hit on the head and he’s not thinking clearly right now,” she said. “Maybe somebody is holding him against his will. If that is what is happening, I just want to say to whoever is holding him: My son loves his family; he loves to play music. Please let him go so he can return to us.”
University administrators have reached out to the Garcia family, and the University community has worked hard to spread awareness about Garcia’s disappearance with fliers, a Facebook group, and tweets at local celebrities with the hashtag #findfranco. Friends helping with the publicity efforts have also established a website, findfranco.org, with information about his disappearance and how people can help the cause.
The family has also set up a WePay account, where friends can donate money to help the family pay for flyers, publicity, and a private investigator who is helping them search for their son.
“It’s frustrating that the police haven’t come up with strong leads, but donations and community support have been amazing,” said Katya Rucker, Garcia’s friend and A&S ’12.