Franca Barsi, 38, was a single mother of a 10 year old son. An Italian immigrant, she moved here with her family in 1972, and graduated from high school in the US. She began college, but didn’t finish- electing instead to begin working.
It is said that on Tuesday she was out running errands and called her son at school to tell him that she might not be able to pick him up from school. That is the last time she was heard from.
Family reports that Franca Barsi was a woman with a big heart. A woman who always saw the best in people and who always wanted to help.
Police responding to a missing person’s report went to Franca Barsi’s home on Wednesday about 10 am and found her deceased. Police have not released the cause of death. Missing from the home were 2 of Franca Barsi’s vehicles. Family has said that her cell phone was also missing and her wallet had been emptied.
Police began looking for her boyfriend as a “person of interest”. Reportedly she was dating David Vincent Reyes, 39. Family says they never approved of the relationship, and that the two had begun the relationship about a year ago. The sister has said “She never complained,” Avina said. “He never physically abused her that I know of, but I think he was dominating and controlling, and she would bend to his will.”
On Thursday about 7:23 am police received a report that one of Franca Barsi’s vehicles had been spotted in a local neighborhood. About 25 minutes later, police spotted a van registered to Barsi being driven by a man who resembled Reyes.
Police began following the vehicle, and they say it wasn’t being driven fast or recklessly, it just wasn’t stopping. Usually at speeds of 40-45 miles per hour on city streets, the ‘chase’ lasted about an hour and covered about 60 miles.
Meanwhile in the home of Reye’s estranged wife, she says “My son actually told me to look at the news because he said they had dad on there. So I turned the TV on and he was there.” She got on the phone and called him, begging him to turn himself in. After he stopped, she thanked him for stopping and he told her to tell the kids he loved them. The two had been separated for more than a decade.
Police have found Barsi’s other vehicle. It was parked in the driveway of a home up for sale, which was across the street from one of Reye’s family members.
Reyes has been arrested on suspicion of homicide and on two outstanding warrants. One warrant was for an armed robbery in July and the other warrant was for violating the sex offender registration laws. Reportedly Reyes had a past conviction of assault with an intent to commit rape.
She was a sister, a daughter, a friend, an employee, and a mother. Her death has left a loss that cannot be measured. Her son is reported to be staying with relatives. With the loss of his mother, his life has been irrevokably changed. At the age of 10 he still dearly needed his mother. Just about the time that he will be entering his preteen years, the person who knows him best will not be there to guide him. And no matter how loving, caring and supportive the relatives, there will always be a hole in his life from the loss of his mother.
And though Barsi’s son’s loss will be the greatest, there are other’s. Reye’s son was likely aware that a search was on for his father. And he was likely to know the reason why. Now he too will be effectively without one of his parents. Yes, visits can be arranged, phone calls and letters. But not parenting and not participation in his activities. So he too, has a loss. He will know that his father is there- just not available to him. And even worse- he knows the reason why.