'Missing' SeaTac man found with new name, in new state
Nicholas Francisco, whose disappearance in 2008 sparked a massive manhunt, has legally changed his name and moved to another state.
Seattle Times staff reporter
A 29-year-old former SeaTac man whose disappearance more than a year and a half ago sparked a massive search — and widespread Internet speculation — has turned up "alive and well" with a new name and in another state, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
Nicholas Francisco was last seen leaving his job at a Queen Anne advertising agency Feb. 13, 2008, saying he was headed home to make cookies with his kids. His wife was expecting their third child at the time.
He never arrived home.
Days after Francisco disappeared, his red 1992 Toyota Paseo was found abandoned in a Federal Way parking lot.
Christine Francisco, his then-wife of seven years, claimed her devoutly religious husband would never abandon their family and said she feared foul play.
A massive police search of the area, including the banks and waters of the Green River, revealed no sign of Francisco.
The Sheriff's Office said Monday it has learned that Francisco had legally changed his name and moved to another state, but refused to disclose which state. However, one law-enforcement source identified his new residence as California.
Earlier this year, Christine Francisco got a divorce and, in an interview with KIRO-TV, said she had subsequently learned her husband had been leading a double life, complete with hidden bank accounts.
Francisco's disappearance sparked widespread Internet speculation. His fate was debated on forums, some of which were devoted to his case, according to sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart.
"I have been flabbergasted by the amount of people across the country who have taken an interest in this case. And I don't know why," Urquhart said.
The Sheriff's Office ultimately put the case on the back burner when it could find no evidence that Francisco had been the victim of foul play.
According to Urquhart, hundreds of people contacted the Sheriff's Office to share their theories on what happened to Francisco.
Urquhart said many suggested he was leading a double life or had planned his own disappearance. Others thought he had been killed or fallen into the Green River. Some even called with information from their psychics or to give investigators tips on where to search next.
Christine Francisco, who has since remarried and moved to another state, could not be reached for comment Monday.
Urquhart said that as far as the Sheriff's Office is concerned, the case is closed.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report
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