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Police Report Few Leads On Missing Children

January 11, 1985

RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (AP) _ Armed men burst into a home, tied up a maid and kidnapped two small children, and police said Friday they had few leads in the case.

Richland Hills Police Chief Barbara Childress said Sammy Franco, 6, and his sister, Teresa, 2, were still missing Friday and that there had been no ransom demand or other word concerning their disappearance.

Guadalupe Areano, a maid at the Franco home in this Fort Worth suburb, told police that three Hispanic men stormed into the house about 5 p.m Thursday, tied her up and threatened her with death.

Minutes after the kidnappers fled with the children, she told police, she managed to free herself and call the parents, Tony and Susanne Franco, who were at work at their family-owned roofing company, Ms. Childress said.

The maid said the men knocked on the door and asked for the children’s father.

″The maid was walking toward the door when the men forced their way into the house,″ said Richland Hills investigator L.R. Valone. ″At this point, all we know is that one of the men had a rifle or a shotgun.″

Childress said the maid told officers she was taken to a bedroom, tied up with electrical cord and warned not to call police. The maid said she did not recognize any of the kidnappers, police said.

Police said the maid told them that one of the kidnappers told Teresa as he picked her up, ″Come on, we’re going to see your mommy.″

A neighbor reported seeing a bright red compact car at the house.

The maid described the abductors as between 25 and 30, and of medium height, with short black hair. One had a thin mustache, was thin and was wearing a trench coat, she said.

The Francos have another daughter, but she was with her parents at work at the time that the maid said the abductions occurred, Ms. Childress said.

A next-door neighbor, Clarence Connell, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram he was in his yard when he saw Ms. Areano leave the house.

″She still had pieces of a towel around her neck where they had torn it up and tied her up,″ Connell said. ″She kept saying ‘ninos’ (children).″

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