Ella Goodie was 32 when she went missing on March 9, 2022. As of the time of recording, she remains missing.
Ella’s family last spoke to her at around midday on March 9. She was from Lafayette, LA and told them that she was headed to Texas to drop off a Lyft rider. This journey is around 218 miles, or 3.5 hours in the car.
Ella is a mother of two girls, aged 13 and 14.
This info is from KATC:
Her family says she told her daughters she would be back by the end of the school day after driving someone to Houston
“She spoke to her daughter on that day that morning and made sure that she was going to school,” Goodie’s aunt, Rose, confirms. “She told them to go to school and her mom was going to be back before she get back from school. That she was just going to go bring this person to Houston and she was going to come back.”
Goodie had worked as ride share driver, but police say she was suspended from doing so at the time of her trip. Family members say she started offering driving services on her own.
It is interesting that the article says she was suspended from being an official rider share driver, as her missing person poster specifically says she was doing a Lyft job?
“We do show that on the 9th (March), her vehicle was picked up on I-10 and headed towards Texas early morning hours, and approximately 12 hours later, it was picked up back in Louisiana coming back towards Lafayette area,” says Scott police chief, Chad Leger. “The very next day after, we picked come back up into Louisiana, her vehicle tracked in north of Dallas.
The FBI and US Marshals quickly became involved in Ella’s case. They revealed that the person of interest is a man named Branson Francisco (36).
Branson had been due to appear in court on the day that he got the ride with Ella. There was an active warrant for Francisco’s arrest after he failed to appear in the Rapides Parish courtroom for the hearing, which concerned his alleged role in a Christmas Eve shooting in 2018 that critically wounded a man in the town of Cheneyville.
Branson and another man, Travelle Markez Louis, are accused of shooting the man on the side of U.S. 71 and stealing his vehicle.
Branson faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, obstruction of justice, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in connection to the case, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The March 9 hearing was meant to address his bond. The arrest warrant issued in his absence on that date ordered that Branson is jailed without bond once located.
On March 25, Branson was located and arrested in Missouri.
A few days later, on April 1, Ella’s vehicle was recovered, also in Missouri.
“They’re going to continue to look through that whole vehicle on a deeper level other than just looking and confirming that’s it. Ok, what else can we see? Are there fibers in the carpet? Is there something in the fabric? Maybe we can get a fingerprint off the upholstery or the window or anything like that. We’re going to continue to go through that whole vehicle inside and out,” Louisiana State Trooper Derek Senegal said.
“All these things have to be put together and continue digging to figure out what’s going on or how can we piece everything together. If there is or could be or maybe there is someone else involved in this thing, we just have to make sure we continue to look and not just say, ‘Hey, we’re good. We found it,’ and just close the case. We just can’t do that. So we’re going to continue looking and exhaust every effort that we have,” Trooper Senegal added.
On April 18 and 19, police searched an area around Iowa, LA for Ella.
State Police and search groups gathered south of I-10 near Iowa, LA on April 18. Several law enforcement crews including State Police Air Support, LDWF and Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office searched the rural and wooded areas off the roadway for any evidence.
State Trooper Derek Senegal said the last known coordinates from a cell phone led officials to search the area for Ella Goodie. Of the 50 square miles to be canvassed, so far nothing has been found.
Private property owners in the area are asked to search their properties for anything out of the ordinary to aid in the work being done.