Earnest Franklin

Earnest Franklin
Earnest Franklin

The Christmas lights that Earnest Franklin left on at his home in Shreveport’s MLK neighborhood section no longer shine. His mother’s hope that her son is safe is also dimming.

“He wouldn’t leave me by myself. He was a mama’s child,” Ola Davis said. “He was right there with me. If he went somewhere he would always call and check to see how I’m doing.”

Franklin disappeared two nights after Christmas 2003. That night, he told his sister on the phone in California that he was headed out to meet a friend. But no one knows who that friend was, since the reclusive, retired forklift operator maintained his privacy.

Shreveport police Detective Michael Carter said phone records failed to show any suspects. And while there’s no physical evidence, Carter suspects foul play.

“This is the first case in my career that I’ve not had any logical reason or any kind of clue as to what happened to a person,” Carter said. There also is no sign of Franklin’s car, a four-door 1995 Cadillac DeVille with white diamond paint. “It’s extremely unusual for a car like that to be this invisible for this long,” Carter said. “This is a high-profile car. It’s a very flashy, very pretty car.”

Franklin, 58 at the time of his disappearance, is described as a bald, black man, 5′5″ and 155 lbs. His mother holds on to the belief heös alive, despite the odds. “I got faith in God one day I hope I see him walking up,” she said. “Or somebody will tell me something. I ain’t giving up.”

Anyone with information — no matter how small or insignificant it may seem — is asked to call Shreveport Police at 673-7020 or Crime Stoppers at 673-7373. Or click here to submit a tip.