The young woman left her apartment to pick up her paycheck and visit an ex-boyfriend. She never arrived at either location and has not been seen since.
LAS VEGAS — Amanda Lee Fravel was born on May 9, 1966, and grew up in Rancho Cordova.
She was a gorgeous petite woman with bleached-blond hair, green eyes, and a dazzling smile. Most people called her Mandy.
She did not have a happy upbringing; her family life was chaotic and troubling, and the situation caused her great distress.
In 1985, Amanda relocated to Las Vegas to distance herself from her dysfunctional family. She moved in with a friend and the friend’s family before finding an apartment of her own.
But her salary at Taco Bell was not enough to pay for rent, so she moved in with a roommate, Lew Frank, on South 3rd Street.
Frank was older, in his 40s, and loved having young people visit his apartment. One might call him a creeper, or that might just be me. 🤷😜
How Amanda met Frank is unclear, but she might have answered a newspaper advertisement seeking a roommate.
Amanda did not own a vehicle, and her mode of transportation choice is unknown. She likely took public transportation or walked everywhere. A friend said Amanda had completely stopped hitchhiking after a bad experience.
Amanda’s mother sent her money for airfare back to Rancho Cordova in June 1986 for a visit, and she was to board the plane on June 14th.
On June 13, 1986, Amanda, 20, had plans to pick up her paycheck at Taco Bell and visit her ex-boyfriend, Xavier (last name unknown). However, she never arrived at either location and never showed up in California, but a friend said she most likely would not have traveled there due to her family’s history. The friend also said Amanda told her she desired to go to Canada to meet a musician.
Shortly after her disappearance, Amanda’s mother and stepfather traveled to Vegas. They first met with her boyfriend and later visited Frank at the apartment he shared with Amanda.
Someone had packed up all of Amanda’s personal belongings. She owned two tiny kittens; no one had fed or taken care of them since June 13. It was uncharacteristic of Amanda as she loved animals and would not have abandoned her kittens.
Amanda’s mother/stepfather grew suspicious of Frank. He claimed he was from Georgia but had no southern accent. He told them he moved to Vegas to open a brothel. According to The Charley Project, “there is no record of Frank in Nevada state records. It’s possible “Lew Frank” is an alias. His current whereabouts are unknown, and police never named him as a suspect in Amanda’s case.”
Alice at Defrosting Cold Cases reported that DNA is available in Amanda Fravel’s case.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Amanda Lee Fravel, please contact the Las Vegas Metro Police at 702-828-3563. You can also email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
True Crime Diva’s Thoughts
Like Amanda, at 20 years old, I relocated from a small town in Illinois to the Los Angeles area in 1990. I moved in with my aunt and ventured by bus all over the place alone, including downtown areas near Skid Row. I had some pretty scary situations. In hindsight, I think how lucky I was. I quickly could have gone missing because I was naive to city life and its people. I stayed out there for three months before I realized I belonged in the Midwest. L.A. is a whole different world, lol.
I also think back on those L.A. days when I come across a case like Amanda’s. We both were 20 years old who fled our homes because of family issues. Yet, one of us is here; the other is not. It saddens me to think Amanda lost her life after trying for a better one.
I think Lew Frank, or whoever the hell he is, most likely killed Amanda. He was a shady character and lied about who he was — saying he was from Georgia but didn’t have an accent. I know people from Georgia, and their accent is very Southern and highly noticeable.
Frank also claimed he moved to Vegas to open a brothel, but that was probably another lie. However, it would not surprise me if he was involved in prostitution somehow.
“Lew Frank” might be an alias, but maybe he just switched the names around; his real name is Frank Lew, Lou, or Lewis, maybe. I performed a quick internet search that produced numerous hits.
There is a Frank Lewis in his 70s listed in Vegas. Today, “Lew Frank” would be between 75 and 81 years of age if he truly was in his 40s in 1986.
But that is such a common name, so I doubt he is one of them.