Today is the 23rd birthday of Franchesca "Cheka" Alvarado. She's not able to celebrate it with loved ones. She went missing on March 13th of last year, during a trip to Atlantic City with a male friend. (Here's the column I wrote about it.)
Franchesca's big, close family is spending the day in Atlantic City, where they will once again plaster the Boardwalk with posters asking for help to find Franchesca. And at sunset, they will set set 50 sky lanterns loose in the nighttime sky, in her honor.
"Like in the movie Tangled, the King and the Queen lit lanterns for their missing princess," wrote Franchesca's sister, Mia, in an e-mail. "We, too, are missing our Princess, and are hoping and praying that Franchesca sees us and feels our love. We also pray that someone sees our efforts and determination in trying to find my baby sister, and will help us spread the word!"
Franchesca's story is scheduled to be featured on PhillyCam's "Unsolved Philadelphia," which spotlights unsolved police cases. The show airs Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7pm. Franchesca's family tells me the story will air this week though, as of yesterday, they'd not been told whether it wll be seen on Wednesay or saturdya. Best bet: Tune in both nights.