Invisible Children

Jeffrey Franklin

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

Jeffrey Franklin, age 16, who went by ‘JR’, is believed to have been murdered by his adoptive parents, Ernest Franklin II and Heather Franklin. Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride confirmed by phone that JR was homeschooled.

Ernest Franklin was an Iraq War veteran and Heather Franklin described herself as a “stay-at-home, homeschooling mom.” JR came to live with the Franklins in 2010 and was formally adopted in 2012. JR was Deaf and autistic. In February 2017, the Franklins watched the film Manchester by the Sea, in which a character accidentally kills his children in a house fire. Within hours after they watched the film, JR was dead from unknown causes, and the family’s home was on fire.

The Franklins were charged with murder and arson.

Date: February 28, 2017
Mount Upton, New York


Documents: Date:
Deputies: Teen was dead before Mount Upton fire, parents charged with murder 03-21-2017
Iraq War veteran and his pregnant wife are charged with murdering their adopted special-needs son, 16, then setting their rural home on fire to cover up crime 03-22-2017
Parents killed teen in plot inspired by “Manchester by the Sea,” DA says 04-11-2017
Disturbing new details emerge in death of Mount Upton teen 04-11-2017
Couple Accused of Killing Special Needs Son and Burning House Were Inspired by Manchester by the Sea, Prosecutor Says 04-12-2017
Prosecutor: Couple killed disabled son after watching ‘Manchester by the Sea’ 04-12-2017