BOULDER, Colo. –
A bartender at a Denver strip club that Greg Franta visited hours before police believe he died in a car crash said he was “already drunk” when he came in and was cut off after one scotch, according to court documents providing new details of the Boulder architect’s final hours alive.
Franta’s body was found March 10 at the scene of a car accident off southbound Colo. 93 that happened a month earlier. In the early-morning hours of Feb. 9, according to the Colorado State Patrol, Franta’s 2006 Honda Civic hybrid went 363 feet off the road, hit two trees and slid down a ravine, landing on its roof.
Because it was out of sight from the highway, the 58-year-old father of three was considered missing for a month before a cyclist found the car. Upon initial investigation, Trooper David Hall said, officers didn’t suspect alcohol was involved and said they might never know if he had been drunk because too much time had passed for effective toxicology testing.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office hasn’t released results of Franta’s toxicology tests, and officials from the office didn’t return calls from the Camera on Wednesday.
According to search warrants filed in Boulder County Court and released this week, a strip club employee remembered that Franta was “very drunk” that night. Below are details outlined in the warrants:
A surveillance video shows that Franta entered The Player’s Club about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 8 and stayed at the club until about 1:30 a.m. â the last time he was seen alive.
A bartender served an “already drunk” Franta one scotch and water when he arrived and told him he was being cut off. Franta dropped that drink, and the employee said she replaced it. But, the employee said, Franta wasn’t served any more while she was on duty until 11 p.m.
While he was at the club, employees said, Franta tried to withdraw cash from an ATM several times but was unsuccessful. His daughter told investigators she found that concerning because American Express doesn’t allow cash withdrawals and “Gregory was aware of that.”
Franta’s wife, Jana Simpson, told police that Franta “does have a habit of drinking too much alcohol at times.” She said that when he “drinks too much, he is known to either drive home, get a hotel room for the evening, or sleep in his car along the roadway/parking lot.”
Simpson, who was in Mexico at the time her husband disappeared, said she was unaware, however, that Franta visited strip clubs.
Franta was in Denver that night to drop off one of his daughters after they had dinner together at Piatta Restaurant in Boulder. His daughter told police that Franta “was in a good mood (as usual) when she last saw him.”
Investigators have said they don’t suspect foul play in Franta’s death, but questions remain, including why he was driving south on Colo. 93 â away from his Boulder home.