Accused killer prison guard's car found near Atlanta

By PAIGE HEWITT HOUSTON CHRONICLE

The manhunt for a Texas correctional officer charged in the deaths of his wife and mother-in-law in Rosenberg shifted focus to the Atlanta area Tuesday after a fisherman spotted the guard's car in the Chattahoochee River.

There was no sign of 44-year-old Albert James Turner, accused of fatally stabbing Keitha Frank Turner, 39, and Betty Jo Frank, 66, on Sunday.

“We have no idea why he went to the Atlanta area,” said Rosenberg Lt. Colin Davidson. “But he's on the run again.”

By about 4 p.m. Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals Service took the lead in the investigation into the killings of the two women, the daughter and wife of a prominent Rosenberg preacher, Gene Frank, who also was in the home during the stabbings.

Since the deaths, authorities from Texas to Orlando — where Turner has family — have been on the lookout for him. The drive between Orlando and Atlanta is about seven hours.

No clues surfaced about Turner's whereabouts until Tuesday, when a fisherman on the riverbank called 911 about 12:30 p.m., reporting a car was submerged in the water.

Cobb County authorities dragged the Honda Accord out, searched the license plate and vehicle identification number, getting a hit from Texas.

Canine units scoured the area — one dog tracked a scent a very short distance and lost it — and officers inundated the area northwest of Atlanta, finding not a single piece of evidence in the car or area, said Cobb County Deputy Joe Hernandez.

That river location, Hernandez said, is not surrounded by woods but by thoroughfares, roads and industrial businesses.

One woman called in the afternoon, reporting she had seen a suspicious man fitting Turner's description in that area, Hernandez said.

The Franks, the Turners and at least two grandchildren were at the Franks' home in the 2400 block of Chestnut when an argument escalated into violence shortly after midnight Saturday, Davidson said. One of the children called 911.

He did not know who was fighting or why.

Anyone with information is asked to call Rosenberg police at 281-342-5566 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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