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Although African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, we account for 33 percent of the missing in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s database. Cases involving African Americans also tend to receive less media coverage than missing Whites, with missing men of color getting even less attention.

NewsOne has partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation and TV One to focus on the crisis of missing African Americans.

To be a part of the solution, NewsOne will profile a missing person weekly and provide tips about how to keep your loved ones safe and what to do if someone goes missing, while TV One‘s newest show, “Find Our Missing,” hosted by award-winning actress S. Epatha Merkerson, tells these stories in visual form.


Franchesca Alvarado

Case Type: Endangered

Date of Birth: January 1, 1991

Missing Date: March 13, 2012

Age Now: 22

Missing City: Philadelphia

Missing State: Pennsylvania

Gender: Female

Race: Hispanic

Complexion: Light

Height: 5-7

Weight: 110

Hair Color: Black

Hair Length: Shoulder Length

Eye Color: Brown

Wear Glasses or Contacts: No

Location Last Seen: Franchesca was last seen at the home she shared with her sister in the Hunting Park area of Philadelphia.

Circumstances of Disappearance: She was leaving with a male friend and heading to the Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ. She was seen at Resorts and later at the Borgata but while her friend made it back to Philadelphia, Alvarado was not with him and she hasn’t been seen since. The friend has said that he and Alvarado went their separate ways in Atlantic City and that she told him she would find her own way home. Her family and friends find that highly unlikely.

Police believe that a shoe, which contained the skeletal remains of a foot, that was found by a fisherman when it washed ashore in August, are Alvarado’s remains.

The family, which was still hoping that Alvarado would turn up, had to let her 4-year-old daughter Janiya know that her mother would not be returning.

“(W)e had to really break the news to her that mommy is not really coming home and it’s just sad,” sister Mia Castings told ABC Action News in Philadelphia.

Now that the family knows Alvarado is not coming home they are seeking the public’s support in finding out what happened to her. Alvarado went to Atlantic City with an older man who told police they went their separate ways when she left their hotel room the following morning.

That man was cooperating in the investigation until police asked him to submit to a lie detector case. That’s when the man retained an attorney, according to Lt. Harold Lloyd of Philadelphia East Detectives. The man has since left the area. New Jersey State Police are investigating the case.

“She should be here,” Sister Tina Diori told the Philadelphia Inquirer.”We miss her so much….We won’t rest until we find out what happened.”

Last Seen Wearing: Unknown.

Identifying Marks or Characteristics: Curly hair, tattoo of her daughter’s name, “Janiah”, on her right torso. Pierced ears.

Anyone with information regarding the death of Franchesca Alverado, should contact the New Jersey State Police Major Crime Unit at (609) 561-1800, ext: 3355 or the Black and Missing Foundation’s confidential Tip Line.