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Oklahoma's Cold Case Files: Who killed Francine Frost?

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Posted at 12:54 PM, May 06, 2021

TULSA, Okla. — Francine Frost left her Tulsa home in February 1981, not to be seen again for three decades.

2 News’ Vincent Hill talked to her family for Oklahoma’s Cold Case Files.

Malcolm and Francine Frost dated for six months before getting married and having children. Vicki Curl was their firstborn.

“My mother was the most quiet person I’ve ever known. She was very quiet and reserved,” said Curl.

Then Curl’s sister Karen was born. The couple worked hard to make sure their girls had everything they wanted.

As Curl got older, she chose a path of her own.

“I was a teenager and a little bit rebellious, a lot rebellious, and moved to Kansas,” she said.

Leaving her baby sister behind and putting a strain on the relationship with her mom.

“We were estranged for a while,” she said.

Shortly after that, Curl got married and soon became pregnant, bringing the mother and daughter back together.

“I was her oldest daughter, and I was having a child, and so that kind of buried the hatchet,” she said.

Curl gave birth to her first son, Cory. He remembers being four years old and playing jokes on his grandmother.

“I’d hide toy spiders in the cabinet, and she would laugh like it scared her,” he said.

In January 1981, Curl called her mother to clear the air on something that had been bothering her for years.

“I’m so sorry for being wild and rebellious, and I told my mother. I said you were a wonderful, great mother. I love you,” she said.

A month later, Curl’s world was turned upside down.

“My dad called me, and he asked me if I had talked to my mom. And I said no, and I asked him why and he said that she wasn’t home, and he didn’t know where she was,” she said.

PHOTOS: Francine Frost

Malcom Frost got in his car to look for his wife.

“He knew her schedule of what she, and so he just started driving around. And he spotted her car in the parking lot at Skaggs Alpha Beta,” Curl said.

The family reported Francine missing and turned to 2 News for help. Curl appeared on the news at the time.

“If anybody has seen her at all, that’s, we want them to come forward and, or to call and let anybody know anything about it that they know,” she pleaded.

Then almost two years to the day that Francine disappeared, there was an anonymous phone call on January 1, 1983. Then there was a discovery 60 miles away from the last place Francine was seen.

“These remains were found January 5 of 1983. A little less than two years to the day of when she disappeared,” said Curl.

But the family never knew about the discovery, and her missing report was never considered.

“They were brought back to Tulsa for autopsy,” Curl said.

The state buried the remains as Jane Doe. 29 years later, a grown Cory started looking for answers from above.

“2012, it started for me with a prayer at our church said, ‘I want you to pray for the impossible.’ He didn’t think we understood how big God was, and I prayed that my grandmother would be found,” said Cory Curl.

Francine’s grandson became her biggest investigator. Cory found a link to an unidentified female buried as Jane Doe.

“It had a white girdle and a skirt, prairie jean, a prairie denim jean skirt, and a white girdle. And I almost fell out of my chair,” he said.

“I knew because of the clothing that it was her,” said Vicki.

The remains were exhumed, and the family waited once again for answers.

“Her DNA went to the University of North Texas in 2015, and it was confirmed on August 8 of 2016.”

After 35 years, Vicki’s mother had been found, but the missing person case took a tragic turn.

“We read in the newspaper about the gunshot wounds to the back of the head,” said Vicki. “I had come to a point in my life where I had accepted that she was gone, and I would never know.”

Vicki took her mother’s story to Oklahoma lawmakers and got Francine’s Law passed.

“If after 30 days that missing person, a report is filed, and they haven’t been found, that their information goes into the NamUs system,” said Vicki.

NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Person System, is aimed at bringing families answers, so they don’t have to wait decades like Vicki’s family.

“Murder is a horrible thing, but a missing person is worse because you never know,” said Cory.

Now, Cory has children of his own.

“My daughter is named after her. She’s Aisely Francine,” he said.

He said he wouldn’t stop looking for his grandmother’s killer.

“I’m not gonna give up. I’m gonna keep fighting for this,” he said.

Anyone with information about the February 16, 1981 disappearance and murder of Francine Frost, contact the Tulsa Police Department or the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office.

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