(NewsNation Now) — Rashan Anthony Francis was originally from the Bronx borough of New York City.
On Nov. 6, 2018, the 42-year-old aspiring rapper called his mother, saying someone was after him.
The phone went dead and he has not been seen or heard from since. Now his family is desperate for answers.
“I can remember it like it was yesterday,” Denise DeGraffe, Francis’ mom, said, having trouble finding her words.
Francis used to call his mom every day. It’s now been more than three years since he disappeared without a trace.
“He said, ‘They’re gonna kill me.’ I said, ‘Who’s gonna kill you?’ And then I started crying and everything and then he cried,” DeGraffe said. “And he don’t cry. Rashan don’t cry.”
Francis was recently married and had moved from the Bronx to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to start a new job and a new life.
Earl Singleton Jr. says he remembers his brother rapping.
“I think of him rhyming, rapping, you know — working,” he said. “I pray for my brother every day. I’ve got his face on my phone. Every day I look at him.”
Francis was last seen near a McDonald’s near the outskirts of Scranton. Police have searched a big wooded area not far away from the restaurant, but have found no sign of him.
His family hung “Missing” posters in the area and said police have since stopped answering their questions and taking their phone calls.
The family said they don’t believe investigators have ever taken the case seriously and insisted a major factor in the investigation was Francis’ race.
“He’s a minority,” his sister Tamisha Francis said. “That’s all I can say — he’s a minority. We never get treated the same. Never.”
Francis’ sister said that when she sees all the attention other missing person cases get, she can’t bear to watch.
“Like the Gabby Petito — Ha — every news outlet covered it — everyone,” she said. “Police did more.”
His sister is grateful for any coverage Francis’ case gets and said the family would be much more grateful to have this mystery solved.
Francis’ family does have theories about what might have happened to him and they acknowledge the possibility that he had a mental health emergency.
They also said there was a person of interest to police, an avenue they believe was never fully pursued.
But that’s all they’ll say.
Sadly, his family is not expecting to see Francis again.
But his mother still thinks about that last phone call with him, hoping for some form of closure, but for her, time heals nothing at all.
“And you tell me: How should I feel? How should I feel?” she asked, sobbing. “How are you gonna tell a mother who has a son that’s missing that she can’t come to another state to find out what’s going on?”
Police in Scranton haven’t responded to any of NewsNation’s calls about this investigation.
Usually, there’s a statement or something that acknowledges that there even was an investigation. But this silence seems to support what the family has been saying.
And the family is saying police are behaving as if Rashan Francis never existed at all.