Francillon Pierre case: Mother accused in cold case murder of 3-year-old child arrested after 33 years
The renewed interest in the case of Francillon Pierre, who went missing in 1986, and the arrest of his mother, happened because of an attempt at identity theft from abroad.
A woman arrested in a 30-year-old cold case about the disappearance of her 3-year-old boy is currently being held in a Las Vegas jail.
Amy Fleming was arrested on January 29 on an open murder charge in Florida and was sent to Nevada to be held at the Las Vegas City Jail on February 19.
The North Las Vegas police said that the renewed interest in the case of Francillon Pierre, who went missing in 1986, and the arrest of his mother, happened because of an attempt at identity theft from abroad.
Police Chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference on February 11 to describe the series of events that led to the arrest of the 60-year-old woman, who was formerly known as Amy Luster.
The authorities said in the press conference that someone had applied for a birth certificate in December last year in the name of Francillon Pierre and this is what led them to reopen the cold case.
The police said that they spent some extra time reviewing all the evidence from 1986, re-interviewing witnesses, and then piecing together the letters sent between Fleming and her husband Lee Luster which were torn into small pieces, KTNV reported.
The detectives who are working the case have said that there is no "smoking gun" and the body of the child has still not been found. They have also said that it was the little things that convinced them the mother was responsible for her child's death.
Bob King, the detective who had worked the case in 1986, said that he was "overjoyed" to hear that Fleming was finally arrested. He also mentioned that even though he felt right about how the original investigation took place, he did not like the fact that Fleming could not be arrested in 1986.
Little Francillon, who was nicknamed Yo-Yo, was last spotted at the Broad Acres Swap Meet in North Las Vegas on Aug. 2, 1986. Amy and the child's stepfather, Lee Luster told the authorities that they had taken the child to the swap meet with them and then lost track of him.
They also reportedly told the police to keep the disappearance on the down low and not distribute photos because they were afraid the media might sensationalize it. The couple, however, was detected of foul play almost immediately.
Francillon Pierre, known by his nickname YoYo, was reported missing Aug. 2, 1986, from the then-Broad Acres swap meet in North Las Vegas. @NLVPD announced on Monday that his mother, Amy Elizabeth Fleming, has been charged with murder in his disappearance→https://t.co/jbgVRAv6E9 pic.twitter.com/Ow10jbttKH— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) February 12, 2019
MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) previously reported that the couple had also suggested Francillon's biological father, Jean Pierre, had been somehow involved in the three-year-old's disappearance.
Police tracked him down to Haiti two and a half months later and searched his apartment but found no trace of the child. Pierre then traveled to Nevada to take a lie detector test and passed and was ruled out as a suspect in the case.
The couple had already been charged with felony child abuse in December 1985 after they had allegedly beat the child which resulted in around 30 to 40 welts on his body. The Lusters were awaiting their trial in that case when Yo-Yo suddenly disappeared. The two subsequently pleaded no contest to the previous child abuse charge and were given five years of probation.
Nonetheless, a year after his disappearance, both Fleming and Luster moved to Florida. They told authorities their reason for doing so was because they still believed Pierre had taken their son to Haiti and wanted to go to Florida because they would be closer to him.
Because they had no formal charges against them at the time, the Nevada Department of Probation and Parole gave them a 30-day travel pass to find work in Orlando and return to Nevada if they failed.
Both were still considered suspects in Francillon's disappearance but would escape action until December 2018, when a warrant was issued for Fleming's arrest.
A month later, on January 29, she was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of murdering her son.
While it is unclear what prompted the police to arrest Fleming 33 years later, the North Las Vegas police said detectives had been working on the case for at least a year and found enough to merit the arrest. The 60-year-old had her first court appearance on February 1 and agreed to not fight extradition to Nevada, where she is currently being held.
Fleming's court appearance has not been scheduled yet. The trial continues.