In the spring of 1990, a young girl was found lying nearly dead on the side of the road in Oklahoma City by a passersby, who brought her to the closest hospital. Her husband, a man named Clarence Hughes, soon showed up, identifying her as 20-year-old Tonya Hughes, who’d apparently been the victim of a hit-and-run. She died shortly after.
Netflix’s latest true crime documentary, The Girl in the Picture, opens with the story of Tonya’s death. But over the course of the film, a sprawling, horrifying mystery unfolds, and reveals that Tonya’s name wasn’t really Tonya, and that her husband Clarence was really Franklin Delano Floyd, a career criminal with a history of robbery, 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 changed her name many times over the years—she grew up as Sharon Marshall before she became Tonya—and raised her as his daughter until she completed high school and had a son named Michael. After she gave birth, Floyd married her, and claimed to be Michael’s father. Netflix’s documentary features stomach-turning interview footage from Sharon Marshall’s former high school friends and strip club co-workers from over the years, including from one high school friend who witnessed Floyd rape his ‘daughter’ at gunpoint while the two girls were having a sleepover.
After Tonya’s death in 1990, Michael was found to not be the biological child of Clarence Hughes, and was fostered by a couple who took care of him for four years. But in 1994, Clarence—aka Franklin Floyd—kidnapped Michael from his Oklahoma elementary school. This put the FBI on his tail, and he was arrested later that year in Kentucky after he attempted to get a new license using one of his old aliases. Michael was never seen again, but Floyd was arrested on kidnapping charges. In the process of the arrest, the police found evidence that 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 colleague and friend of his “daughter,” who was at the time called Sharon Marshall. He was convicted of her murder and the kidnapping of Michael Hughes in 2002, and sentenced to death.
In 2013, Franklin Floyd confessed to FBI agents that he had killed Michael on the day he had kidnapped him from his first grade class. “I shot him twice in the back of the head to make it real quick,” the FBI agent recounts Floyd telling him in Netflix’s documentary. Michael’s body was never recovered. Franklin Floyd was never charged for Suzanne Marie Sevakis’s 1990 death that he claimed was a hit-and-run, but he did reveal to agents that he kidnapped Suzanne after her mother, who Floyd married in 1974, was sent to jail.
Today, Franklin Delano Floyd remains alive at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida. He is 79 years old, and there is no date set for his execution.
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