In the spring of 1990, a young girl was found lying nearly dead on the side of the road in Oklahoma City by a passerby, who took her to the nearest hospital. Her husband, a man named Clarence Hughes, quickly introduced himself, identifying him as 20-year-old Tonya Hughes, who had apparently been the victim of a hit-and-run. She died shortly thereafter.
Netflix’s latest true crime documentary, The girl in the photo, opens with the story of Tonya’s death. But over the course of the film, a sprawling and horrifying mystery unfolds that reveals Tonya’s name wasn’t really Tonya, and her husband Clarence was really Franklin Delano Floyd, a career criminal with a history of theft, kidnapping, battery, pedophilia and sexual assault.
In 2014, “Tonya”, who died in 1990, was finally determined to be Suzanne Marie Sevakis, a girl who was kidnapped by Franklin Delano Floyd in the 70s. He has changed her name several times over the years – she has grew up as Sharon Marshall before becoming Tonya – and raised her as his daughter until she graduated from high school and had a son named Michael. After giving birth, Floyd married her and claimed to be Michael’s father. The Netflix documentary features heartbreaking interview footage of Sharon Marshall’s former high school friends and strip club co-workers over the years, including a high school friend who witnessed Floyd rape his ‘daughter’ at gunpoint while the two girls had a sleepover.
After Tonya’s death in 1990, Michael was found not to be Clarence Hughes’ biological child and was taken in by a couple who took care of him for four years. But in 1994, Clarence – aka Franklin Floyd – kidnapped Michael from his elementary school in Oklahoma. This put the FBI on its heels, and he was arrested later that year in Kentucky after trying to get a new license using one of his old aliases. Michael was never seen again, but Floyd was arrested for kidnapping. During the arrest, the police found evidence it linked Floyd to another murder of a Jane Doe that took place in 1989 near Tampa, Florida, who was determined to be Cheryl Commesso – a co-worker and friend of his “daughter”, who called herself at home. Sharon Marshall era. It was sentenced of her murder and kidnapping of Michael Hughes in 2002, and sentenced to death.
In 2013, Franklin Floyd confessed to FBI agents that he killed Michael the day he kidnapped him from his freshman class. “I shot him twice in the back of the neck to make it really quick,” the FBI agent recounts, telling him Floyd in the Netflix documentary. Michael’s body was never found. Franklin Floyd was never charged in the 1990 death of Suzanne Marie Sevakis, which he said was a hit-and-run, but he told officers he kidnapped Suzanne after her mother, whom Floyd married in 1974, was sent to prison.
Today, Franklin Delano Floyd remains alive at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida. He is 79 years old and no date has been set for his execution.
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