Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Jonathan Francia

Real Name: Jonathan J. Francia
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Albuequerque, New Mexico
Date: January 12, 1994


Details: On January 12, 1994, sixteen-year-old Jonathan Francia drove a friend to a restaurant in Albuquerque so that the friend could pick up his paycheck. While he was sitting in his car behind the restaurant, two men jumped in and abducted him. Five days later, his charred body was found in the trunk of his burned-out car. A witness named Scott Johnston identified the killers as two men, Paul Daniel Richardson and "Jason", who he encountered washing Jonathan's car before the fire. He had spent several hours with them the day after Jonathan was abducted and murdered.
Famous sketch artist Jeanne Boylan began working with him in hopes of creating composites of Jason. She gave him some play-doh to help him get more information about them. He told her that he met them through a friend named Trena Richardson, who was staying with him while her husband Paul went to Alabama. When Paul returned at 6 AM, he brought the mysterious "Jason" with him. Scott noticed that Jason was wearing a velvet cowboy hat, a jacket, jeans, and worn-out tennis shoes. He also noticed that his hands were red; at first he thought it was clay, but it was really blood. Scott said that he and Trena left to run errands at around 9 AM, and when they returned, Jason and Paul were cleaning a car and shut the trunk--which he later learned held Jonathan Francia's body. They asked for a gas can, which he got from a neighbor.
Later that day, Trena and Paul showed Jason the way back to the highway, and he was never seen again. Four days later, Jonathan's car and body were found thirty miles away. Scott's testimony led to the arrest of Paul Richardson, who confessed that he and Jason were the ones who killed Jonathan. Two days later, he hung himself in his cell, and his partner in crime "Jason," has yet to be identified. It is now up to Jeanne and her sketches to help identify him and bring Jonathan's killer to justice.

Suspects: "Jason" is 5'10" with a medium build. He smokes, chews tobacco, and wears Western-style clothes that include a horsehair belt. He should be considered extremely dangerous. He also uses the first names Jeffrey, Jerry, David, and Roger. Three sketches have been made of him. Authorities believe he has relatives in Pinetop or Payson, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas. He is believed to frequent Las Vegas and homeless shelters in Laughlin, Nevada. He is believed to travel by bus, hitchhiking, and by hopping trains. He claimed to have an ex-wife in the Dallas area who has two children fathered by another man. He also claimed to have a girlfriend in Dallas who has a child fathered by Jason. At the time, he was in his mid-twenties, but would today be in his forties.
Jason, along with Paul and Trena Richardson, are believed to be responsible for Jonathan's murder. Paul confessed to being involved in the murder before committing suicide. Trena confessed to helping dispose of the body.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the October 2, 1994 episode about Jeanne.
Results: Unresolved. In April 1994, Trena Richardson was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, two counts of hindering prosecution, and one count of petty theft in the death of Jonathan Francia. She admitted having seen the dead body of Francia and had poured gasoline into the body. She claimed that her husband, Paul Richardson, had made her watch as he and "Jason" disposed of the body. At the time, she said, "Jason is alive. He's in Texas or maybe right there in Albuquerque."
In April 1995, the murder charges against her were dropped; however, she still faced several years in prison for probation violation. In June, she pleaded guilty to probation violation and was released for time served. Jason's identity has yet to be revealed; however, prosecutors have stated that they believe he is deceased. In one of her statements to police, Trena claimed that Paul killed Jason shortly after Jonathan's murder to keep him from talking.