Witness says missing person was threatened

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BRIDGPORT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (03/06/15) - The disappearance of a Mid-Michigan man and his car has baffled police for years - but some new information could be a new clue in the case.

Four years ago this month, Eric Franks vanished - and so did his car.

ABC12 has learned that the Michigan State Police have recently spoken to a man who says he heard Franks being threatened.

Police have little to go in this missing persons case, but police say a man has given what could be the first credible information on what might have happened to Eric Franks.

The man, who does not want to be identified, says he met Eric Franks in late 2010, at the Miller Motel in Bridgeport Township - where both men were staying.

"Eric is a really nice guy," he said.

Franks was from Ohio, but moved to the area in 2010 after a Saginaw County woman told him he was the father of her teenaged daughter.

"She is actually the spitting image of him," the man said of Franks' daugther.

The man says Franks and the mother of the child did not agree on how or if Franks should become part of the girl's life.

"And they would argue every other day about that, for several hours," he said.

The mother of Franks' child was married to another man. There was tension between the three, and one day in late 2010, the man we spoke with says he heard a threat when the husband of the woman confronted Franks.

"Drove screaming up the motel's driveway, and skidded to a stop, jumped out and started threatening Eric, and ended up telling Eric that he is going to put a bullet in his head if he didn't stop messing around with his wife," the man said.

The man, who has talked to police, says he moved out of the area in 2011, before Franks went missing. He came back to town in June 2012, and saw Franks' picture in a store.

"When I saw that missing person poster in the window, I knew something had happened. There was no reason for him to be missing," the man said.

Franks' biological daughter, her mother, and the mother's husband have all moved to Florida. The Michigan State Police have not talked to them since they have received this new information, but are still working on all leads in the case.