ALBANY PARK — The family of a missing Albany Park man is asking community members and friends for financial support as they look for him.
Hector Franco Tello, 53, was last seen leaving his home about 6:50 a.m. March 9 near Spaulding Avenue and Argyle Street, police and his family said. He’s lived there for more than 20 years, family members said.
Despite weeks of searching, Franco Tello’s loved ones still have no idea where he is. Police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill said an investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call his daughter, Diana Franco, at 773-844-5721 or police at 312-746-6554.
In the meantime, Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez (33rd) helped the family create a GoFundMe campaign to cover their expenses during the search. Franco Tello works as an upholsterer and is the main breadwinner for his family, which includes children ages 6, 13, 18 and 25. They hope to raise $5,000.
“We want this family to be as stable as they can right now. After dealing with the trauma of having a missing father, we don’t want them to be displaced. We don’t want them to go through any any other hardships,” Rodriguez-Sanchez said.
The morning of March 9 was just a typical day for her family, said Gabriela Maciel Cerde, Franco Tello’s wife.
The couple chatted as Franco Tello got ready for work, and Cerde helped their daughter get ready for school, she said. He asked her if it was going to be cold that day, Cerde said.
“The last thing he said to me was, ‘I’ll see you in a bit.’ That was the last thing he said to me,” Cerde said in Spanish.
Cerde headed out about 3 p.m. that day to pick up her younger children from school and her oldest daughter from work. Her car was parked behind their building; when she got inside, she saw her husband’s lunch and jacket in the back seats, Cerde said.
Cerde said her first thought was her husband’s car probably had a mechanical issue and he’d headed back home to borrow her car. But the more she thought about it, the more she became concerned, Cerde said. Franco Tello did not usually come home from work until 6 or 7 p.m. and would have told her if his car had any issues, Cerde said.
Franco Tello left his job in McKinley Park about 11:30 a.m., his boss told relatives. Diana Franco said they think he got home about 12:30 p.m. to put his jacket and lunch in his wife’s car, but no one saw him and they don’t know why he’d do that.
“He’s the type of person who goes to work and comes home and doesn’t stop anywhere in between. If he had to work late or a second job he always called or FaceTimed us,” Diana Franco said. “We’re always in contact with him.”
When Franco Tello didn’t come home at the normal time, the family drove around Albany Park and North Park and found Franco Tello’s car — a 2007 light blue Honda CRV — parked near North Park University, his family said. Inside they found his keys, wallet and other belongings, family said.
As the family continues their search, they’re asking people to share any surveillance footage from March 9 from cameras in and around the their home in the 4900 block of North Spaulding Avenue, where Franco Tello’s car was found at 5017 N. Spaulding Ave. or his job at 3604 S. Iron St.
Franco Tello also needs to take medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. His family has been calling local hospitals to see if anyone who came in seeking medical matches his description, family said.
“We really have no idea where he could’ve went and want to look at any footage people may have from those those areas to see if he appears,” Diana Franco said.