Duane Chapman confirmed he was dating Francie Frane in March

By Eric Todisco and Eric Todisco
May 04, 2020 11:30 AM
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Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman is ready to be a husband again!

The Dog’s Most Wanted star and girlfriend Francie Frane are engaged, PEOPLE can confirm.

"They’re very happy and looking forward to a long life together," a rep for Duane tells PEOPLE.

Duane and Frane, who confirmed they were dating in March, told The Sun U.S. on Monday that he popped the question over the weekend in a romantic candlelit proposal at their Colorado home.

"I wasn't expecting it at all," Frane, a 51-year-old rancher from Colorado, told the outlet. "I think I had gone to pick up some food and then when I came back he had all the lights turned down with just a few lights on and a bunch of candles lit."

"So when I came in I was like, 'Wow, this is awesome,' " Frane said. "Then he said, 'Come in, sit down because I need to talk to you.' And he got down on one knee and he opened the ring box and he said, 'Will you marry me and spend the rest of our lives together?' "

The couple said they are planning on waiting until after the coronavirus lockdown to tie the knot so that all of their family members can be in attendance.

Francie Frane/Instagram

"I would love to have the biggest wedding there's ever been," Duane, 67, told The Sun. "I'm sorry but that's just me. I hope I can talk Francie into it and open it to my fans, the 'Dog Pound,' to everybody."

"It would be one hell of a party and it's just what people need right now," the reality star added.

RELATED VIDEO: Dog the Bounty Hunter Opens up About Life After Death of Wife Beth: Just 'Trying to Man Up'

Last week, Duane professed his love for Frane on Instagram, sharing that she has been able to put a smile on his face since losing his wife, Beth Chapman, in June 2019.

"I scream & Cry Beth where are you why did you leave me then I look up & see you Francie & the pain turns to a smile I LOVE YOU WOMAN !!" Duane captioned a solo shot of Frane.

While fans have criticized Duane for his new relationship, one of his daughters stepped in to defend him last month.

“Everyone who’s judging my father should sure pray that they never have to lose their loved one and get judged for trying to fill the void,” wrote Bonnie Chapman, 21. “Your opinion is invalid. My mother would’ve wanted him to be happy. Now please shut up and let me my dad live in peace.”

Beth, who was diagnosed with stage II throat cancer in 2017, died last June at the age of 51.

Duane and Beth Chapman
Darryl Oumi/Getty

In an interview with The Sun U.S. in March, Duane said he and Frane have bonded over their shared grief of losing a spouse to cancer. Frane’s late husband Bob died just months before Beth.

“I know that when I start to feel bad about Beth and it’s overwhelming, Francie seems to show up and that helps the kids,” Duane said. “And I feel that Beth expects her to show up to take care of me. And Bob, Francie’s late husband, expects me to be a man and a gentleman and so I am.”

Asked if he thinks he’ll marry Frane, Duane said, “There will never be another Mrs. Dog but it looks like there will be a final Mrs. Chapman.”