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Family of 18-month-old boy killed in house fire says they haven’t been able to say goodbye

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MILWAUKEE -- It has been almost a month since 18-month-old Marshaun Franks Jr. was killed in a house fire at 45th and Center in Milwaukee -- and the family still hasn't been able to lay him to rest.

The young boy's body remains at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office. The medical examiner says it cannot be released until DNA results come back from Madison.

Franks' family says they're unable to move forward.

Cherie Franks

Cherie Franks

"I have nightmares of him screaming. I have nightmares of the house on fire. I can't get him out of my mind up in that house," Cherie Franks said.

Franks knows that the pain her family experienced on May 5th will never go away.

Franks' 18-month-old grandson Marshaun Franks Jr. was killed in a house fire at 45th and Center. She says laying him to rest and celebrating his life with her family will help her heal.

Fatal fire near 45th and Center

Fatal fire near 45th and Center

"That`s part of our closure," Franks said.

The family has been unable to say goodbye to the baby boy because the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office has not released his body. They are waiting on DNA confirmation from the state Crime Laboratory.

Fatal fire at 45th & Center, Milwaukee

Fatal fire at 45th & Center, Milwaukee

A spokesperson with the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office said the boy's body was not visually identifiable so DNA must be tested, and sometimes, the process can take awhile.

The boy's family says it's taken much longer than they were told it would.

"And it's like, we`re reliving it over and over," Franks said.

Franks says the family has had to reschedule the boy's funeral twice.

"It's hard, and I just want it to be over so that when we get past that we can move on. I just want want them to give me my grandbaby so he can be laid to rest," Franks said.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

Franks says maybe then, they can focus on the good memories.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

"He loved to dance. If you turned on the music, he was going to dance," Franks said. "I love him. We all do."

Officials with the Milwaukee Fire Department say it's believed this fire started when one of the children who escaped that day was playing with matches or a lighter.

They are reminding people of the importance of having working smoke detectors in their homes, as this home did not.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

Marshaun Franks Jr.

The DNA results in this case could be in from Madison as soon as Wednesday, May 25th.

2 comments

  • EugenePWynne

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