Although my personal attempts failed, I think this case is solvable.

Questa Leona Burns was last heard from by her family in 1969.

NamUs doesn’t have much information on her case, but I was able to track down a bit more background elsewhere on the internet.

Here is what is known, and what I have tried so far.

Questa Leona Fraetis was born on October 29, 1921, in Southgate, CA.

In 1940, she was living in Riverside County with her mother and brother.  She was a beauty operator.

In 1946, she married Thomas Barrows Burns Sr. (1924-1980) in St. Paul, MN.

They had 3 sons.

She is reported as missing from San Bernardino County, CA, but her family believes it also could have been Los Angeles or Riverside County.  The circumstances of her disappearance are unclear, but her family describes them as “tragic circumstances”, and mentions that Questa’s husband quickly took the children out of state.   They have also expressed belief that she may have been living in an institution.

She spent the majority of her life in the Riverside, Los Angeles, and San Bernardino counties of California, and her family believes she remained in that area.   They believe she may have remarried, although I cannot find any record of her divorcing Thomas – at least, nothing in the California Divorce Index.

Questa sometimes used the nickname “Jackie”.

Her mother’s maiden name was PITTS.

In 2002, one of Questa’s family members got lucky.  She spoke with someone at the Social Security Administration, who confirmed that Questa was still living. (How often does THAT happen?) They obviously wouldn’t give her any other details.  She would have been 81 years old at that time – so now she’d be 91-92.  I’d say the chances of her still being alive have diminished some since 2002, although it’s very possible that she could be.

I found no marriage records after 1969 that seemed to fit, and no death records in the SSDI (searching First name: “Questa” and DOB: “1921”).  Public records sites and California Unclaimed Property didn’t give me anything, either.  I wish I could have found a photo of her.

Questa is white, was last known to have black hair, brown eyes, and stood 5’4″ tall.  She weighed 120 lbs.

Her relatives would really like to find out what happened to her.

Cases like this give me a unique sense of urgency – with no SSDI record, I think there’s a good chance she’s still alive – for now – but in her 90’s.  Time is running out.  I’d really like to see a happy ending for this family.






Angelfire Family History Page



2 thoughts on “Questa Burns

  1. Difficult case. There’s evidence of her in a Southern California newspaper in the 1940s as Questa Fraetis.

    Her brother, Elden “Red” Fraetis is also mentioned in an old newspaper, and is described as being arrested for a DUI in the 1940s. Elden Fraetis (the brother) looks to have died in the 1950s.

    California seems to have the largest cluster of people with the last name of Fraetis. This makes sense considering that it looks to be a Portuguese name. To make things more confusing, there was another Fraetis family in Riverside in the 30s/40s/50s. There’s a group of Fraetises in Bakersfield and another in Northern California. I’ve looked at the Northern California family on Facebook, and tracked back their family tree, and i’m nearly certain they’re aren’t related to Questa.

    There doesn’t appear to be anything on Questa Burns, or on the numerous variations of her given name. I’ve tried lots of variations with “Jackie” also.

    I’m not entirely sure as to why she’d be listed as Questa Burns, when both her and her brother went by Fraetis, and the mother’s maiden name was Pitts. If she got a divorce – or if she remarried – you’d think that she’d go back to Fraetis.

    It’s extremely unfortunate that the someone in the Social Security administration didn’t just tell the family where she was. I’ve also noticed that her missing person case isn’t listed on California’s missing person website.

    Hopefully someone else will look into this.

  2. I am the person who filed the missing report,Questa was my mothers cousin….SS said they had NO recent activity on her….and assumed she was alive because of no SS death records……Her husband checked her into Patton on Eastern morning(late 1960’s),then took the kids and went to Washington State WITH Questas best friend(no secret that they had been seeing each other)(someone from Patton told me,off the record when she entered and when she left)…No wife ever got benefits on his SS account….As far as I have been able to find,Thomas never divorced Questa or married the girlfriend…..Questa was in Patton for about 6 months and when she got out husband and children were GONE…Several later the sons went back to their old apartment where the manager told them that Questa had come looking for her family but no one knew where they were….After many years of searching I located one of her sons who told me what he knew……next to nothing…..

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