It was one year ago when local and national media outlets were saturated with the picture of a 28-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Chicago who vanished. Nailah Franklin, a vivacious West Side woman who relatives said lived her life like it was golde
It was one year ago when local and national media outlets were saturated with the picture of a 28-year-old pharmaceutical sales rep from Chicago who vanished.
Nailah Franklin, a vivacious West Side woman who relatives said lived her life like it was golden, referencing a Jill Scott song, was last seen Sept. 18, 2007. Nearly 10 days later, she was found dead in a Cook County forest preserve.
The Eli Lilly and Co. sales rep, who friends said lit up any room she entered, was last heard from by family, friends and co-workers that day through text messages. She was reported missing the next day, after she failed to contact any of them, and when she missed an important meeting with her boss.
Within two weeks of her disappearance, her car, personal belongings and naked, badly decomposed body were found a few miles apart in a south suburb and neighboring Hammond, Ind.
Autopsy results ruled the cause of death as “inconclusive” pending a police investigation.
A 31-year-old former lover, Reginald Potts, was charged with Franklin’s murder two months later. Prosecutors said Potts stalked Franklin within days of her disappearance, and video footage shows him inside of her condo building on Sept. 18.
Though Potts has appeared at a number of court hearings since being arrested in the case, no trial date has been set and he remains jailed, without bail.
Relatives and friends of Franklin often shied away from the media after her death because the pain was too much to bear.
Last April the family celebrated her birthday, but have made no plans to publicly mark the anniversary of her death, according to her uncle Dwayne Johnson.
“A few family members came together to celebrate Nailah’s birthday, but we haven’t discussed any plans to observe her death. We are focused on moving forward and remembering her privately,” Johnson recently told the Defender.
Johnson said he and a few other relatives still have a presence in court each time Potts has a hearing, and they keep in contact with the States Attorney’s office.
Franklin’s family wants to focus their efforts on celebrating her life and continuing her legacy, instead of focusing on what happened to her, Franklin’s sister Lehia Franklin Acox said in an interview with the Defender earlier this year.
Kathy Chaney can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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