Widow disputes claims of rape in suicide case

Man fatally shoots himself while in his vehicle in the Milan Police Department parking lot.
Joe Centers
Mar 17, 2013


Betty Francis was on her way to Missouri when she heard the awful news.

Her husband of 35 years, Gary L. Francis, shot himself while in his vehicle in the parking lot of the Milan Police Department Monday afternoon.

Police have said Francis was under investigation for a suspected sex offense involving a 6-year-old Sandusky girl.

Betty Francis does not believe her estranged husband would do such a thing.

"Gary was not that type of person," Betty said. "This is devastating for my kids, grandkids.

"It was never a proven fact. From what we've been told, there was a two-minute conversation on the phone (about the accusation). There was no written report. She (the 6-year-old girl) was never taken to be looked at.

"I just don't want him going out looking like a sexual offender. I was married to him 35 years. He has always been around young kids.

"This is not him. Gary was the nicest, coolest guy in the world. This was not Gary. It has been devastating to my kids and really devastating to my 10-year-old grandson."

Milan Police Chief Jim Rose talked about the incident and disputed Betty Francis' claims about the investigation.

"There is a written report and it is classified as a rape," Rose said. "There is a rape that took place of a 6-year-old. We still have an obligation to wrap up everything (with the investigation) ... make sure there is no culpability of anybody. We'll probably close out the case next week sometime."

These are tough cases to deal with.

"I've got mixed emotions about it. ... It's not easy," Rose said.

The chief stopped Francis on Ohio 601 near Audrey Lane about six minutes before the man shot himself.

"I just got finished talking to him. I made a traffic stop on him," Rose told the Reflector earlier this week.

"The victim was in the area and was worried about him being in the area. I decided to stop him and ask him about the allegations. He actually was already pulled over," Rose said. "He was pretty nervous."

Rose didn't see any weapon in the car during the traffic stop, but he said Francis told him he had a gun.

"He said it was under the seat. I told him to leave it there. He was cooperative -- no problems," Rose said. "He had a CCW permit."

While the chief said Francis gave no reason for pulling his vehicle to the side of Ohio 601, he said the man agreed to come to the station to be interviewed and give a statement.

"He followed me to the station. I went (inside) through the garage and he never came into the station," Rose said. "I was waiting for him to come in and that's when I found him."

Rose said he went out to the car to ask Francis to come inside and discovered his body in the front seat of his running vehicle. The chief said Francis used a pistol, but declined to elaborate because of the ongoing investigation.




swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


he will be remembered for the good person he was


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.


you don't know if there was some other inner conflict in his life. It might not of been abuse allegations that led him to pull the trigger.



swiss family

my deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends. No one knows all that was going on inside his head to make the decision that he did, but it does NOT in any way make him guilty of the actions, that many of the "dollar store" psychologists think that they know what they are talking about.Why not let the family grieve in peace, and concentrate on your own issues, like wanting to kick a person , or family when they are at rock bottom..


thank you swiss family


My sympathies to the family. However, with this type of case it raises a few questions. Did the police stations cameras catch the victims shooting on tape? If not, did they rule out homicide, like enraged father or someone of the alleged 6 year old victim? He could have been followed. It just seems odd is all.

Sitting In The ...

Using just the facts supplied by Milan Pd, He was stopped asked to report to the police station regarding allegations. I believe this man knew the truth was about to be exposed which is why he waited till he got into the parking lot to do it. I know if I was suicidal I certainly wouldn't care what the police told me, what are they gonna do Swiss throw me in jail?. I'm educated in both Sociology and Psychology so I know what I'm talking about.

swiss family

you might be "book smart" (BUT I HIGHLY DOUBT IT) but you really are cold hearted and stupid.. in my opinion...and definitely "out of line"

Sitting In The ...

Could you explain why you highly doubt I'm "book smart", I'm intrigued to know what information you base that claim on. Also you stated "I'm out of line" according to who?. Is there anyway you could reply and not insult me? because I didn't do it to you. Thanks Swiss I eagerly await your reply.

Now The Rest of...

Swiss I agree you on this subject none of us knows what was going on in his mind, his family will never know, but in the future when you are critical of others remember you own message.

Sitting In The ...

The next time when Im critical of someone else I should remember the last time I was critical....Is that what you meant?

Brock Lee

sad ppl alway gulty untill proven inocent

Sitting In The ...

That's how our court system works Brock unless you're rich then it different.


If he did such a thing to a 6 year old, then GOOD RIDDANCE! However, if he was truly innocent then it is truly sad that he thought it would be easier to take the coward's way out instead of defending himself