The community is going ‘Red for Ruby’, an eight-month-old girl that was the victim of a heinous and senseless crime last Sunday.
The New York State Police have arrested 25-year-old Cody A. Franciscovich, of Owego, N.Y., and charged him with in the first degree, an A Class Felony in connection with the death of his 8-month-old daughter, Ruby L. Franciscovich.
At approximately 7:14 a.m. on Sunday, June 9, 2019, Tioga County 911 received a call to check the welfare on an 8-month-old who was missing from the Deep Well Motel on Route 17C in the town of Tioga.
According to police, responding troopers began their search to locate 8-month-old Ruby, who was reportedly last seen at the motel with her father, Cody Franciscovich.
Cody Franciscovich, Ruby Franciscovich, her mother, and two other children, ages two and four had been residing at the motel for several weeks.
Shortly before 8 a.m., Tioga County 911 received another 911 call of a naked male on Route 17C in the town of Tioga. Troopers soon located Cody Franciscovich on Route 17C, just west of the motel.
They interviewed him about Ruby Franciscovich’s whereabouts and he directed the troopers to a pond behind St. Patrick’s Cemetery on Route 17C.
Upon investigation of the area, troopers located Ruby face down about 25-feet from shore. A trooper quickly waded out into the water and retrieved Ruby, and initiated CPR. Owego Ambulance transported Ruby to Wilson Hospital in Johnson City where she was pronounced deceased.
Following the arrest, Cody Franciscovich was arraigned and remanded to the Tioga County Jail on no bail. In a court appearance in the Town of Tioga court on Wednesday, June 12, the father pleaded not guilty and was being represented by public defenders George Awad and Tom Cline.
Although there are no formal charges of Rape, documents state he ‘did knowingly and intentionally commit the crime of murder in the first-degree when in the immediate flight thereafter of committing the crimes of rape in the first degree and criminal sex act in the first degree he killed his eight-month-old daughter’.
Franciscovich is currently being held without bail in a Tioga County jail, and a hearing was scheduled Friday, where the Town Justice will decide whether there’s enough evidence to bring the case before a grand jury for consideration of indictment.
If indicted by a grand jury and later convicted of Ruby’s murder, Franciscovich could face up to life in prison.
This investigation is on going, and police noted that the two other children are with other family members and Child Protective Services is actively involved in the case.
But in the meantime, the community is mourning.
On Monday, a unified effort, #RedForRuby, was a sign of solidarity as red balloons, roses, and other items were placed at the iron gates of St. Patrick’s Cemetery; a single flower was placed by a path that leads to the pond, where young Ruby was located.
A vigil for Ruby is also planned for Monday, at 8 p.m. at the cemetery. Attendees are asked to wear red in Ruby’s honor.
The outpouring of love for Ruby, whose life was cut short, and the grief being experienced around the county, nation and world, as expressed in a Thursday report in the U.K.s Daily Mail, reminds us that we have compassion. Rest in peace Ruby.
Kathy Ostrander posted the following poem, as an expression of grief, on social media.
You were born such a beautiful jewel
How could anyone be so cruel?
Your life was spread before you
What wonderful things you would do
No one knows what you could have been
We can only wonder and pretend
You should have lived a long and beautiful life
Doing all kinds of things like riding a bike
You will never be able to do all these things
As your life was cut short by death’s sting
One you trusted to love and protect you betrayed
And your last moments were spent afraid
We will light a candle to remember and send our love
You are a red star shining way far up above
Glowing brightly with your Heavenly Father safe and sound
The most beautiful – prettiest – littlest Angel Ruby to be found