Name: Eric Lee Franks
Last seen: March 21, 2011
Location: Saginaw, MI
Status: Still missing
Disappeared: Season 8, Ep. 9 “The One That Got Away”
Eric Lee Franks checked into the Miller Motel in Saginaw, Michigan in late 2010. He moved there from Ohio to reconnect with a former girlfriend after finding out that that he had a 15 year old daughter with her. He was there for approximately 5 months when he disappeared.
Eric checked out of the motel on March 21, 2011. His former girlfriend told police that she saw Eric that day removing belongings out of his motel room. The motel owner says he did not see Eric that day, but stated that he did see the former girlfriend removing items from Eric’s motel room.
Eric was reportedly last seen leaving the motel in his dark bronze 2001 Chevy Malibu sedan with Ohio license plate number EMH-4902.
At the time of his disappearance Eric was 38 years old, had chin-length hair, stood 6’1 tall and weighed approximately 175 lbs. Both of his ears were pierced, he wore complete dentures and part of his left big toe was amputated.
Eric’s Car Located in Clare County (Northern Michigan)
Eric’s car, which was last seen in 2011 when he disappeared, was found in northern Michigan in September of 2020. The tip came in after a woman in California, who was watching a video about Eric’s disappearance on Youtube, ran a Carfax check on his car and discovered that it had gotten an oil change in Clare on August 31.
The police contacted the shop, and contacted of the current owners of the car. The vehicle is currently at the Michigan State Police Lab being processed.
The garage that the car was presumably hidden inside for the past 9 years has a connection to Eric’s former girlfriend, Kendra Firmingham. The garage belonged to Gerald Rutledge, who Kendra was a caretaker for at the time of Eric’s disappearance. Kendra later moved to Florida, and died in 2016.
Rutledge died in April 2020, and his belongings, including the missing car, were put up for sale. A man in Clare County purchased it, and that individual is who police obtained it from.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Eric Lee Franks please contact the Michigan State Police:
Michigan State Police
Detective Trooper Hilary House
Resources & Further Information
Find Eric Lee Franks – Facebook
Eric Franks – Websleuths Thread #1
Eric Franks – Websleuths Thread #2
Eric Franks – MibSAR
Eric Lee Franks – NamUS
Eric Lee Franks – The Charley Project
Where is Eric L Franks? – Wixsite
Media & News
Eric Franks: The One That Got Away – UnFound Podcast (3/17)
Witness in Mid-Michigan Missing Person Case Dies – ABC12 (9/16)
Eric Franks: Missing in Michigan – Already Gone Podcast (7/16)
The Missing Voice: When a Loved One Goes Missing – Podcast (5/16)
MissingNMurdered Blog Talk Radio – Podcast (2015)