Family still hopes for answers in mysterious death of Frannie Graham

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6 News Reporter

TELLICO PLAINS (WATE) – In September 2005, a Blount County woman named Frannie Graham, 72, left on a shopping trip with her boyfriend's son.

It was the last time anyone saw her alive.

For years, no one knew for sure what had happened to Graham.

Then finally in December 2009, Illinois State Police confirmed the remains of a woman's body found in a ditch near Metropolis, Illinois were Graham.

Police believe foul play was involved.

Frannie Graham and her boyfriend, Floyd Dockery, had dated and lived together in their Coker Creek home for more than 20 years.

Floyd Dockery's son, Arthur Dockery, lived in a trailer behind their home.

Family members say Frannie and Arthur didn't get along.

Tom Dockery, Floyd Dockery's nephew, says. “And he didn't have a relationship with Frannie. He made the statement that he'd eventually get rid of her so that tells you a lot.”

Tom Dockery says there were a few reasons Frannie Graham and Arthur Dockery had a strained relationship. One of them was that Floyd Dockery planned to leave his home and property to his girlfriend and not his son.

Then in September 2005, investigators believe Arthur and Frannie left on a shopping trip to Blount County.

“In my opinion, she would not have left Blount County with that man alive. Why she went that far, I don't know,” says Tom Dockery.

A few days later, Arthur Dockery showed up at the Blount County Sheriff's Department. He claimed that during that trip Frannie Graham and he had been abducted and loaded into separate vans.

He said his kidnappers were women who sexually assaulted him. He said he managed to escape, but hadn't seen Frannie since the kidnapping.

Arthur Dockery was later charged with making up that story. He bonded out.

He was then charged with driving on a suspended license.

And he was back in court a third time, accused of firing a gun in his father's home. That case was dismissed, however, when his father decided not to testify.

Shortly after that, Arthur Dockery disappeared. A few years later, his father, Floyd Dockery, passed away.

Floyd Dockery did an interview with 6 News before he died.

“Just like police, I don't know what's happening. I cannot make ends meet. I just want things to come together. I'm worrying my self to death,” he said.

Tom Dockery took care of Floyd Dockery before he died. He says what happened to Frannie and Art's possible involvement were always on his mind. “He cried a lot. He was upset a lot and that started his demise.”

Arthur Dockery didn't attend his father's funeral. He still has outstanding charges in the area. Tom Dockery says Arthur is now working as a tour bus driver in Michigan.

“I don't want this case to go unsolved. I don't want it to be put in a box and on a shelf. Likewise the guilty ones should be brought to justice,” Tom Dockery says.

The big break in the case was in December 2009, when Frannie Graham's body was finally identified in Illinois. And a phone call made from Arthur Dockery's cell phone back in 2005 puts him 10 miles from the ditch where the body was found.

6 News contacted Illinois State Police about this case. All they can say right now is they're still looking into it.

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