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Police Investigate Vanishing Mums

Mother-of-three Lisa Franks left home to go for her daily walk a little over two weeks ago.
She has not returned.
Since April 9, the 36-year-old's children Nicholas, 15, Patricia, 11, and Christian, 9, have been distraught, while police and her husband Ken remain baffled.
Mrs Franks is the latest in a string of mothers who have disappeared without trace in recent years, leaving behind shattered families.
In some cases, police believe they have met with foul play.
But in others there is evidence to suggest the women merely abandoned their families to start anew.
In Mrs Franks' case, she was last seen about 4.45pm on April 9 walking along Bungaree Rd, Toongabbie, in western Sydney, towards Pendle Hill railway station.
She had been seen earlier that day carrying two plastic bags full of clothing -- a possible indication that she had planned to leave home.
"There's been a number of sightings, which we're trying to prove or disprove," Parramatta crime manager Detetective Inspector Ian McNab said.
"We can't confirm it was her in any of these sightings.
"We've run by a number of scenarios that she may have met with foul play, she may have caused herself harm, she may have gone off somewhere, we just don't know."
Mrs Franks' bank accounts have remained untouched, but her family is hoping that some type of stress could have caused her to temporarily seek a break from home life.
A similar situation exists for Matthew Girkin, whose wife Cassandra, 30, has not been seen since leaving a Central Coast shopping centre on February 14. v Mr Girkin said she told him she was going to the toilet, but security camera footage shows she left the complex.
The couple's three daughters, Teegan, 9, Chloe, 7, and Georgia, 5, are constantly asking their father, "When will mummy come back?"
"It's just not fair, it really isn't," Mr Girkin said yesterday.
"What do you tell the kids? Just to take each day at a time, that's all I can do. I just try to keep myself busy, because if you just sit there thinking about it you end up going mad."
While there is evidence to suggest Mrs Franks, Mrs Girkin and another Central Coast woman Kylie McKay - who disappeared in 2002 - may have willingly left their families, police have reason to believe some other missing mums have met a more sinister fate.
Detectives are currently compiling evidence for a coronial inquest into the death of Gladesville mother-of-two Carmel Giannasca, 32, who disappeared in 2002 after an argument.
Police feel she has met with foul play and are hoping the upcoming inquest will lead to an arrest.
Grave fears are also held for Dubbo mother-of-four Lateesha Nolan, who has been missing since January 4.
Ms Nolan, 24, has not been seen since dropping off her two youngest children at their grandmother's house.
Her abandoned car was found next day near the Macquarie River.
Her children, aged 2, 3, 4, and 5, are being cared for by their grandmother.
"We've discussed the fact of foul play and that, on face value, seems very much apparent because of her situation with the children," Dubbo crime manager Acting Inspector Mark Meredith said.
"It would be very uncharacteristic of her to get up and leave her children in that way. She's very, very closely aligned to her family."

Daily Telegraph (11-5-2005)
Brad Clifton

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