Local News

Whereabouts Of N.C. State Student Unknown

Posted February 16, 2006

— Vitor Franchito, 23, always had a smile on his face. It's a smile that no one has seen in at least 10 days. The N.C. State computer-engineering student is missing. His father arrived in Raleigh from Brazil Tuesday looking for answers.

"I'm a father, my son is missing," said Jose Ricardo Franchito. "I have to check on my son."

Vitor Franchito was last seen buying cigarettes at a convenience store on Western Boulevard, and then bank records show he withdrew $200 from a nearby ATM.

Raleigh police searched the area around Lake Johnson, because friends say he liked to go there and relax. They also searched near Crabtree Lake, but they found no signs of the student.

"He was very well-loved, he was very friendly, a very sweet guy," said friend Heloisa Portela Myers.

Myers started a social group for young Brazilians with Vitor Franchito. She said he missed his family and fiancée back in Brazil.

"I think he was torn about whether to stay and finish his studies," said Myers. "I think he had a year left. Or go back and stay with his fiancée."

Vitor Franchito's teacher and academic advisor, Cecilia Townsend, said he is an enthusiastic student. She is getting several e-mails from concerned students and faculty.

"He was active on campus," said Townsend. "His friends are concerned about him. It just seems strange that he would just disappear like that."

"All the family want him back with us," said Jose Ricardo Franchito. "We love him so much. That's why we need to get him back."

Police don't believe foul play is involved in Vitor Franchito's disappearance. He didn't take his cell phone, wallet or car with him when he left.


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