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Person of interest arrested in disappearance of ride-share driver
LAFAYETTE PARISH - The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have joined police in the search for Ella Goodie, a ride-share driver who has been missing since March 9.
The Advocate reported Friday that federal agents apprehended the person of interest, Brandon Francisco, in St. Joseph, Missouri. He was arrested by U.S. Marshals on a warrant out of the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office.
Francisco will be held in Missouri until he can be transported to Rapides Parish, where he has outstanding warrants for missed court dates in an attempted second-degree murder case.
The Scott Police Department told KATC that the agencies are still looking for 32-year-old Goodie, who was last seen with 36-year-old Francisco.
Goodie is a mother of two daughters, 13 and 14 years old. She reportedly told her daughters she would be back home by the end of school Wednesday, March 9, after driving someone to Houston, but she never returned.
"She spoke to her daughter on that day that morning and made sure that she was going to school," Goodie's aunt, Rose, told KATC. "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 bring this person to Houston and she was going to come back."
Goodie formerly worked as a ride-share driver, but police say she was suspended from doing so at the time of her trip to Texas. Family members say she started offering driving services on her own.
"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," Scott Police Chief Chad Leger said. "The very next day after... her vehicle tracked in north of Dallas."
Police have identified Brandon Francisco as a person of interest. Family members told KATC he is the person Goodie gave a ride to Texas, but they are not sure if the two knew one another.
"This guy asked her to bring him to Houston, and from her heart she said yeah. Pay me, I'll bring you to Houston," said Goodie's father, Autrey.
According to The Advocate, Francisco was set to appear in an Alexandria courtroom on March 9 — the same day he was seen with Goodie — for his involvement in a violent 2018 crime. The hearing concerned Francisco's alleged role in a Christmas Eve shooting and carjacking in 2018 that critically wounded a man in Cheneyville.
Goodie's family members are hoping and praying for the best.
"Hopefully, no, we're not expecting any type of foul play," said Goodie's cousin, Carron Livings. "All we want is for her to come home safe, and whoever you are, if you're watching this, all we ask is that you turn yourself in and let her go."
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Goodie or Francisco should contact the Scott Police Department at 337-233-3715.
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