Frank Lee Branam (Nitty)
23 Years Old

July 1, 1979 to August 11, 2002
Found body 9/22/02

Frank was the youngest of three children born to Robert and Lona Branam. Frank loved his family. He loved bikes of all kinds and could ride anything with a motor or without. After the divorce of Frank’s parents, he continued to be part of his Father’s life, with summer and weekend visits. At the age of 8 yrs. Old, his mother asked him about letting his sister’s friend move in as a foster child. Frank, with no hesitation said sure he wanted to give her a family. Frank loved all the family functions and as a close family we do it often. Frank also loved skate boarding as a pre-teen. He loved playing basketball for the community center. One of Frank’s favorite holidays was 4th of July with his birthday being on the 1st of July he would save all his money to buy fireworks. He loved fireworks and sharing them. Frank loved swimming at the YWCA, he talked us into getting a pass just so he could go swimming. Frank was a very outgoing kid and all the parents of his friends loved him like their own. Frank had a bit of comedian in him, always trying to make you laugh. Frank’s mother remarried when Frank was 14 yrs old giving him two stepbrothers. As a young adult, Frank was still very close to his family. A day didn’t go by that he didn’t call his mom and siblings. He was so loved and loved so much.
Frank and Brandy, his fiancé, have been sweethearts since they were 12 yrs old. They loved each other and were planning on being married. The rings and the dress were already bought. Then on August 10, 2002 Dale Crowe took his life and ruined all of ours. Frank was not perfect, he made a lot of bad choices that he came to regret. Frank was a good person and a good son but as a human he made mistakes. Such a waste to take my 23 yr. old son. Frank, we loved you and you are not forgotten.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Frank left his house on August 10, 2002 with a friend, Dale Crowe to go look at some floor tile. Frank never returned home that night. We searched for him everywhere, in the woods, on the tracks, for 43 long days. On Sept. 22, 2002 Frank’s body was found in a dumpster by two boys skateboarding. His skeletal body only weighed 23 lbs. The police couldn’t give us any information on how, where, or when Frank was murdered because they didn’t want to disclose the only evidence they had to go on. So, 3 1/2 years later a witness finally came forward with information that Dale had told them, that only the murderer knew. The detectives called and reported that they had arrested Dale Crowe on Feb. 17, 2006, a professional boxer, for the murder of Frank. He was charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery. Dale plea bargained and got 9 years for manslaughter and 5 years for robbery and 6 years for extortion. He was extorting people for money over the phone in jail. So, all together he got 20 straight years. He is now serving his time at Warren County Correctional Institution.

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Fran Lee Branam