Body found in burned car Monday

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Richard Matthew Franks, 25, of Tyronza, was found with a gunshot wound to the head at approximately 2 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, when the Earle Fire Department responded to a call reporting a car on fire behind a residence on South Ford Road, north of Earle. Upon extinguishing the fire, officials found Franks sitting in the front seat of the car, a white '92 Ford taxicab. Investigators reported that the incident was apparently a suicide. The body was sent to Little Rock for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Crittenden County Chief Investigator Ed Laxton reported that at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, the West Memphis Police Department received a call regarding a stolen taxicab belonging to the City Wide Cab Company in Memphis, possibly enroute to Arkansas. Officer Latonya Able of the Memphis Police Department confirmed that the cab driver had been cut on the arm, but was in stable condition at the Med.

Franks was employed as manager at Alfred's on Beale St. in Memphis, he was a communicant of St. Norberts Catholic Church in Marked Tree, and a U.S. Army Veteran, having served in the special forces unit as a Chemical Operations Specialist in Somalia.

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