Overview of Franchesca Alvarado
Franchesca "Cheka" Alvarado went missing on St. Patrick's Day in 2012 after going to Atlantic City with an older male friend. She was planning to register for classes the following week at the Community College of Philadelphia, hoping to pursue criminal justice. Franchesca was a single mother to her daughter, Janiah, and was known for her love of crafts and her obsession with wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne Johnson.
Franchesca's family and friends, known as #TeamCheka, immediately sprang into action when she did not return home. They organized rallies and plastered the boardwalk with flyers, demanding answers. Unfortunately, their efforts were in vain, and it was 15 months before a fisherman found Franchesca's severed foot at Corson's Inlet State Park in Ocean City. Her tibia and femur washed up over the next two years, but her right torso remained lost at sea.
The case remains unsolved, and no charges have been filed in Franchesca's death. Her former boyfriend is currently in federal prison on separate gun charges, and her roommate at the time has refused to cooperate with investigators. Franchesca's family held a funeral for her in 2016 after her bones were recovered, and she was buried on top of her mother.
Franchesca had a difficult childhood, and after her mother passed, her older sister Tina Ray adopted her and her other sister, Mia. Franchesca was known for her creativity and athleticism, but also for her kindness and empathy. She was everyone's favorite secret-keeper and was always willing to lend an ear.
Today, Franchesca's family still honors her memory by delivering food and clothing to the needy at a Baptist church in Atlantic City every Thanksgiving. Her Minnie Mouse pajama set, which Tina had purchased for her during the first year she went missing, remains wrapped under the tree. Her daughter Janiah, now 11, occasionally makes a sad face when her nieces and nephews call out for their mothers, but her family assures her that they are all in the "special angels club." Anyone with information about Franchesca's case is asked to contact the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office or Tina Ray.