Searches

Jon Francis Foundation, (JFF) created in January 2007 “To honor Jon and to mold our sorrow into purpose.”  This is the family support, of a missing person, part of our mission.  Pass on Jon’s legacy of love and service.  Bring some good from his loss and make a difference in his name. Pay it forward by being a life-line to other families in need. 

JFF offers crisis and grief support to families and individuals coping with the unresolved loss of       a loved one as well as search advice and assistance to find missing persons:

  1. Hands-on searches.  Engaged with family and provided a search manager and certified search and rescue (SAR) personnel and search dogs.
    1. Brandon Swanson, 19, Marshall, MN missing since May 14, 2008.  Multiple searches over past 3 years.  Currently fielding search teams and management and coordinating with local law enforcement and the MN BCA.   Resource quality control and fund management. Parents Annette and Brian Swanson and Brandon’s sister Jamine have become like extended family.  They taught me much about working with families.  They initiated legislative activity in 2009 that resulted in Brandon’s Law.
    2. Christina Calayca, 20, from Toronto, Ontario. Missing since August 2007. Disappeared from the Rainbow Falls Provincial Park in Ontario.  Multiple managed searches since spring of 2008. Helped family with grief and loss, fundraising and coordination with law enforcement ---(The Ontario Provincial Police).
    3. Daniel Zamlen, 18, from Eveleth, MN, University of St. Thomas, freshman who disappeared in April 2009.  His body was recovered from the Mississippi River.  Provided presence and counsel to family on grief, search, law enforcement liaison and public relations.  We spent many days at St. Thomas with family, police and searchers.
    4. Brittney Landsverk, 20, from Faribault, MN- lost in the Cannon River in April 2010.  Her body was recovered in August 2010. Provided presence and counsel to family on grief, search, law enforcement liaison and public relations.
    5. James Nelson, 31, from Chicago, IL and Iowa City Iowa.   James went missing in October 2010 while hiking alone in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area of Colorado.  Patty Wetterling called me and asked me to help the family.  Linda and I met with Cathy, James mother, at the vigil for James in Iowa City in November.  In contact with James father, who lives in Colorado, about best practices for a family-led search.  Sheriff will not resume search. Still too much snow in mountains but gathering  SAR teams for the effort.
    6. Greg Seftick, 31, from Afton, MN and Montana. Greg’s father Dan called me for help. Greg and hiking partner Walker Kuhl were lost in the Grand Teton National Park in April 2011.  Their bodies were recovered from an avalanche field within a week. Provided presence and counsel to family on grief, search, law enforcement liaison and public relations.  Kept informed by a veteran Grand Teton Park Ranger who had helped us in our search for Jon.  Jocelyn with kids drove from Stanley, Idaho to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to be with Parents, Dan and Sue, and brother, Chris, during the search.

Chris and Greg were Stillwater High School classmates of Jon.

 

  1. Family help--not involving an active search

Abbey Flantz (Gaylord, Minnesota) and Erica Nelson (Las Vegas) - missing but recovered in Alaska’s Denali National Park.  Abbey’s sister called me. Advised her via phone and email on media relations.

 

Jeremy Griess, 39, Colorado;   Disappeared in April 2010.  Friend of Jeremy wrote me. Kelly Jolkowski had referred us. Advised family via phone and email on SAR procedures and law enforcement relations.  Jeremy was found deceased.  He had committed suicide.

Ron Gray, 61, went missing in Northern Idaho while elk hunting alone.  Ron was a former Marine and State Trooper.  “Hard as nails.”  May have been a strained marriage. Spoke with his wife, Nancy, about a family-led search after the Idaho County sheriff abandoned the effort. She decided not to pursue.

 

Justin Burkhart, 28, Bend, Oregon- disappeared on 8-1-09.  Called by a member of an Oregon SAR unit. Advised mother on search procedures, public relations, media and police cooperation. Hispanic male—got insufficient police investigation and search.  Mother was distraught and angry.   This was frustrating. Possible foul play so we chose not to intervene and apply our limited resources. JFF tries not to self-deploy and/or get involved in foul play (police matter) or suicides.

 

Peter Achermann, 82, of rural Motley, MN was reported missing by his wife,
Delaine.  She
called me for advice during the fruitless search.  She never made a decision about engaging with JFF. No further action.

 

Keith Kennedy, 25, (Minnesota) Wisconsin; Keith walked away from camp in July 2008. Called by mutual friends of the Kennedy family. Met with Keith’s parents, Bruce and Linda, at the search site, and reassured them that Keith, an autistic male, was regarded as a vulnerable adult and the search would be well resourced and aggressively conducted.  There was a massive search near Trade Lake Camp, Grantsburg, WI, (it looked like a sheriff’s convention) however, Keith was not found until day 7-- barely alive.                            

 

Clay Rubano—46, Lander, Wyoming. Called by a Wyoming SAR unit. Spoke with a close friend of Clays. Clay disappeared on a solo hike in the Wind River Mountains in November 2007. They had widespread support from Wyoming Park Rangers and declined our help.  His remains were found by volunteers the following spring.