23 Aug 2014
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Petaluma Boy Missing

Parents believe he is en route to New York City to meet someone he met online

Petaluma Boy Missing Petaluma Boy Missing

A 15-year-old Petaluma boy is missing and is believed to have run away to meet an older man he befriended on a social networking site.

Justin Franz, a sophomore at Casa Grande was reported missing Monday morning after his parents found a note on his bed.

“As you know, I’m gone and you’ll probably never find me,” it said. It also told the parents to turn on a graphing calculator and when they did, they saw a programmed message. I LOVE YOU MOM, it read.

Luckily, Justin left behind his phone, where his parents, Roland and Nanette Franz, found an extensive chat history between the teen and a 41-year-old man living in Pennsylvania on an iPhone messenger app called Kik.

“This man is a predator and told him everything that he wants to hear including ‘I Love You,’” said Justin’s father Roland Franz. He added that the family is very vigilant about Justin’s use of social media, know his Facebook password and typically take away his computer and phone at night.

On Justin’s laptop, the Franzes also found Internet history that includes bus and Amtrak schedules and believe their son is headed to New York City.

Justin is a top student at Casa, a volunteer at St. James Church and various community organizations. He also plays in a band.

“He is very, very involved,” said his father, Roland Franz. “There is no way, no reason for him to do this.”

Justin Franz is the second Petaluma teen to go missing this week. On Tuesday, Rubi Cruz Mendoza, also a Casa student, was located after being missing for almost a week. It's still not clear whether Mendoza left willingly with her godfather or was abducted.

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