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‘Somebody out there knows what happened’; Jacksonville police still on hunt for Jenna Franks’ murderer

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 7:13 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 24, 2022 at 8:14 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Thursday marks one year since Jenna Franks, a transgender woman, was found murdered in Jacksonville.

“There’s a whole lot of emotions going on right now,” Lillith Campos of the Onslow County LGBTQ+ Community Center said.

A transitional home in Jacksonville is decorated in Franks’ memory. Campos reflected on the fact that she’s gone.

“I’ve never been to where this happened. I’ve never stepped foot in this house,” Campos said. “It’s like you don’t watch the last episode or something... or read the last chapter of a book you know. If you don’t close that chapter, then it didn’t happen. This isn’t easy being here.”

Jacksonville police and the FBI continue to collect evidence connected to the murder, and a $15,000 reward is offered for information leading to the identity of the person(s) responsible, but no arrests have been made yet.

“There was a lot of evidence that was processed. We’re waiting on the results of that and as soon as we get the results, it may help us,” Jacksonville Police Chief Michael Yaniero said.

Dennis Biancuzzo, Onslow LGBTQ+ Community Center executive director, spoke of the importance of keeping Franks’ memory alive with the transitional home, saying Franks was once homeless herself.

“We have had individuals that have come through this house that answered calls to homeless individuals who need a place to live and who need to get back on their feet,” Biancuzzo said.

The LGBTQ+ Community Center will be doing “Backpacks for Jenna” on Saturday, where members give out backpacks full of supplies, food, and clothing for homeless people in the community.

It will take place at 11 a.m. at Onslow Outreach. The center will also provide thermal blankets and free haircuts.

Anyone with information on the case of Jenna Franks should call the FBI at 704-672-6100 or the Jacksonville Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

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