Mark Francis, 23, grew up and attended school in Clear Creek County. When he was 15, he moved to Leadville, CO. An avid outdoorsman, his friends called him “Mountain Man.” Mark worked in construction as a frame carpenter. He was a quick learner, creative and smart. He built log furniture and was a self-taught mechanic.
Naturally athletic, he was a fearless snow-boarder, a gonzo wakeboarder and a slalom water skier. Mark mountain biked, climbed fourteeners and was a rock hound. He loved Lake Powell and its sunsets.
Mark lived with few possessions other than his Toyota 4-wheel drive pickup and what he could carry with him. He had been staying at his sister Stephany’s til the end of February this year. He left to go to Leadville to make some money. But when he didn’t show up for his 24th birthday, March 7th, his family became worried.
His truck was found on March 5th. Mark’s body was found March 19 in a remote area north of Idaho Springs, near a cell phone tower that was serviced every two weeks. He had been shot. As of April 2004, four men are jailed in connection with this murder: Brent McKellip, the alleged triggerman; Zach McKellip; Troy Santerelli; and Justin Reents. Mark leaves his mother, Diane Francis, of Wheat Ridge, father Pat Francis of Georgetown, sister Stephany Francis of Lakewood and a host of friends in Leadville.