Detectives have been trying to solve this cold case for years – maybe you can help.

Blonde, blue-eyed, beautiful and blessed with a bubbly personality – the quintessential girl next door. That was Sharon Marshall. She was also very intelligent, an avid reader near the top of her high school class, listed in Who’s Who of American High School Students, a Lt. Colonel in the ROTC and she had earned a full scholarship to Georgia Tech University where she planned to study aerospace engineering. Sharon proudly graduated from high school in Forest Park, GA in 1986.

Only her name wasn’t really Sharon Marshall – she didn’t know what her real name was. Nor did she know who her parents were or even what day, month, year or in which city or state she was born. It is thought that Sharon was born sometime in the late 1960’s although no one knows for sure because Sharon had been kidnapped when she was just a toddler, probably sometime between 1973-1975.

Franklin Delano Floyd, a psychopath, sexual predator and convicted felon, abducted and raised Sharon as his own daughter while posing as her ailing father, all the while sexually abusing her from a very young age. Floyd would later claim that he had “rescued” Sharon when she was unwanted and abandoned by her biological parents.

The first known public record of Sharon exists in 1975 in an Oklahoma City school where she was registered under the alias “Suzanne Davis“.

 

SUZANNE DAVIS – 1975

"Suzanne Davis"
“Suzanne Davis”

Sharon’s good natured personality and good grades ultimately worked against her. Although she had few friends and sometimes dressed inappropriately, no one was suspicious of the young lady who had to be home by 4:30 p.m. everyday to help her sick father or wondered why she moved so often that she was in the fourth school in a single year during her high school career. If anyone did get curious and questioned her about the whereabouts of her mother, Sharon would explain that when she was a young girl her mother had died of cancer or she was known to tell others, her mother had died in a fatal car accident. When the questions became too probing or intense Floyd and Sharon would pick up and move to places like Oklahoma City, Louisville, Atlanta, Phoenix, Tampa, New Orleans and Tulsa.

It is known that upon her graduation Sharon moved to Phoenix, AZ.  Sometime during the next couple of years Floyd and Sharon moved to Tampa, FL where she gave birth to a baby boy on March 21, 1988 using the alias “Tonya Dawn Tadlock”. She subsequently named the baby Michael Anthony Hughes and it is thought she used the last name Hughes because at the time, Floyd was using the aliases Charles Hughes and Clarence Marcus Hughes although, he also used many other aliases over the span of his criminal career. The natural assumption is that Floyd was Michael’s biological father, however, this theory was disproved with DNA test results in the 1990’s.

 

Sharon Marshall & Michael Hughes

Sharon Marshall
Sharon Marshall
Michael Hughes
Michael Hughes

Franklin Delano Floyd

Floyd in 2002
Floyd in 2002
DEATH ROW - Current Mug Shot
DEATH ROW – Current Mug Shot

During this time period, Sharon began to work as an exotic dancer, her dreams of studying aerospace engineering by now a distant memory. Sharon made friends with Cheryl Ann Commesso, 19, an exotic dancer who worked at the same club. Cheryl was beaten and killed by two shots to the back of the head in 1989. She was dumped along Florida Interstate 275 and for a long time was known simply as “Jane Doe I-275”. Soon after, Floyd and Sharon left Florida and shortly after that, the trailor they had occupied burned to the ground.

In yet another twist to this stranger than fiction story, Sharon and Floyd were married in 1989 in New Orleans under the aliases Clarence Marcus Hughes and Tonya Dawn Tadlock. Floyd and Sharon, along with Michael, then headed to Oklahoma.

In April of 1990 Sharon was killed in a suspicious hit and run accident while both she and Floyd were being sought in connection with Cheryl Ann Commesso’s murder investigation. Floyd remains the primary suspect in the hit and run that killed his daughter/wife.

After his mother’s death, when DNA test results proved conclusively that Floyd was not Michael’s biological father, Floyds visitation rights were terminated and Michael was put into foster care. His foster parents, who had begun formal adoption proceedings, reported that when he first came to them Michael was non-verbal, had limited muscle control and often exhibited hysterical behavior. While in their care, however, Michael apparently made great progress.

In the final twist to this bizarre and sad story, Michael was kidnapped by Floyd from Indian Meridian Elementary School in Choctaw, OK on September 12, 1994. He held school officials at gunpoint and forced Michael and the school principal into the principal’s pick-up truck. Eventually Floyd let the principal go, basically unharmed but traumatized, tied to a tree. Young Michael was never seen again.

Floyd was arrested two months later in Kentucky where he steadfastedly refused to give any information as to Michael’s whereabouts. Floyd claimed Michael was out of the country or possibly in the Atlanta, GA area. However, multiple witnesses have come forward saying Floyd confessed to them that he murdered Michael by drowning him in a bathtub, somewhere in the Atlanta area. Still other witnesses say they saw Floyd bury Michael’s’ body in a grave. Floyd was tried and sentenced to 55 yrs in prison for Michael’s kidnapping.

Some time later, a mechanic working on Floyd’s old pick-up truck, which had been auctioned, discovered a multitude of photos wedged over the gas tank. The explicit photographs clearly proved Sharon had been subjected to sexual abuse her entire life. In addition, photos showing Cheryl Ann Commesso beaten and bound and sitting on the sofa in Floyd’s old trailor in Florida, were discovered along with photos of other females. These photographs were used as evidence against Floyd in the Commesso murder trial in 2002 where he was later convicted and sent to death row.

After Sharon’s death, upon further investigation into Floyd’s background, investigators learned that he was a career criminal who had first been arrested at the age of 17 in a gunfight with law enforcement during a burglary. Floyd was also arrested for abducting and raping a young woman at a bowling alley in 1962. All told, Floyd has admitted to convicting at least 19 felonies.

Floyd has not been convicted of either Sharon or Michael’s murders but is still under investigation for both crimes. He has a documented history of schizophrenia, was raised by two alcoholic parents and at some point was turned over to an orphanage by his mother who never came back to retrieve him. Floyd’s defense attorneys presented these facts in his defense at his trials in an attempt to solicit sympathy from the juries.

Franklin Delano Floyd now sits on death row at the Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, FL.

Sadly, Michael Hughes has never been located and is presumed dead. His mother “Sharon Marshall” still remains unidentified and is buried in Choctaw, OK.

Real Name: Unknown

Known aliases:

  • Sharon Marshall (most commonly used alias)
  • Suzanne Davis (mostly when she was a young child)
  • Tonya Hughes
  • Tonya Dawn Tadlock

Real Name: Franklin Delano Floyd

Known Aliases:

  • Charles Hughes
  • Clarence Marcus Hughes
  • Trenton Davis
  • Warren Judson Marshall
  • Preston Morgan
  • Kingfish Floyd

If you have any information about Michael or Sharon, please contact the Choctaw, OK Police Department or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If you found this case interesting and would like to learn more about Sharon and Michael and this fascinating case, I highly recommend author Matt Birkbeck’s terrific book  ” A Beautiful Child”. It’s one of the best true crime stories I have ever read.  Warning:  once you pick it up, you won’t be able to put it down until you’ve finished reading it!

Comments
  1. Christina says:

    Could floyd of possible been in los angles,ca in 1974?

  2. Dan says:

    I knew a young woman known to me as ” Tonya Hughes” back in 1989 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We met at a club she danced at and we had a instant connection it seemed. We talked and joked about running away together often, it seemed she was in a loveless relationship and I was in a loveless marriage. But she was worried about getting away safely with her son and I could not leave my two young children behind. So we left it as simply a wonderful fantasy, another time, another place we would have been happy together. I would come see her every chance I had for a few months, the only time we had together was in a seedy strip club. Then one day she was gone, no one knew where she had dissapeared to and I had no way to find her. I have thought about her often over the years and hoped to find her again someday. I pray that this is not the same young caring beautiful blue eyed blonde that I fell in love with as a young man. But the story seems to fit her life, what she told me of it anyway. My heart broke when I found this page at the thought of her death, that if I had left my marriage sooner than I did, that she would still be alive and happy and so would her son. I have never told anyone this story and I questioned myself for even writing it now. But a part of my heart will always belong to Tonya, and a part of me will always miss her. I get a pain in my chest when I think of her now, grief over what might have been I suppose, what if’s and was I her knight in shinning armor that failed to take my cue and rescue her from that life? I will never know for sure. I know for the short time I knew her, she was a bright shinning light in this world. I can still see her beautiful smile, the light in her blue eyes and the feel of her soft kiss. I will miss you always Tonya

    • Heather says:

      Dan, I would LOVE to talk with you. even if it’s just through email. Not sure if I can post it on here, but i hope the moderator does NOT delete it. please, my email is heatherbirdlady83@yahoo.com Again, I REALLY would like to talk to you about this in private. if you see this, and decide to email me, put Tonya s the subject. thanks. I hope i hear from you. please.

      • Claire says:

        Such a sad story. I came across Sharon/Tonyas story about 6 years ago and every few months I check online to see if there have been any developments on her story or finding out her true identity or finding poor Michael….and each time I am disappointed with the results.

        Dan…it does sound like the same Tonya you met all those years ago. But don’t beat yourself up about it…with the life she led, I’m sure she was grateful to have those few months knowing you and the fantasies of running away. I’m sure that gave her some relief and comfort with whatever was going on in her private life.

    • Ron Ley says:

      Dan, you need to reach out to Matt Birkbeck, the author of the book A Beautiful Child. His email address on his website is birkbeck.matt@gmail.com ..Please contact him.

    • Lisa says:

      Sharon/Tonya was just ID’d as Suzanne Marie Sevakig. Her mother married Floyd (who used an alias) and when she was serving a 30 day jail term, he took two of her daughters to Social Services, and left with her little girl and infant son. The boy has never been located and may have been left with another Social Services agency or in the care of someone who raised him as their own.

      Dan, I am so sorry you have carried this guilt for so long. You did the best you could do under the circumstances, and I am sure you were one of the few bright spots in her short life.

  3. finalfantasy14hacksnow.wordpress.com says:

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and
    actual effort to make a very good article… but
    what can I say… I put things off a lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  4. gene clark says:

    Keep looking for true love in strip clubs; bring a big roll of $1 bills and one day, you may find it again.

  5. Brazilianswag says:

    dan you do realize you just gave a basic summary out of a few chapters of the book: A Beautiful Child. i honestly doubt you are the man from the book because the information you just gave was so basic to the book

  6. Maybe Dan read the book and that’s why he knows the book version.

  7. Sarah says:

    According to a new update by the author of A Beautiful Child, Sharon has been positively identified as Suzanne Sevakig, a girl who had gone missing with her stepfather (Floyd, who was using an alias) after her mother went to jail for 30 days for a small crime. DNA proved this to be true. Floyd disappeared with 4 of the woman’s children, two of them turned up and her baby boy was never located. The police wouldn’t take the missing children’s report because the children were missing with their stepfather so they didn’t consider it a real abduction apparently (shaking my head….)

  8. Sekhet says:

    They found her.
    http://www.mattbirkbeck.com/blog/finally
    Her name is Suzanne Marie Sevakig.

  9. She has finally been identified as Suzanne Marie Sevakig.

  10. Gigi says:

    Yes, she has been finally identified as Suzanne Marie Sevakig. She was from North Carolina. Apparently, Floyd was married briefly to a woman who was divorced and had 3 daughters and an infant son. The wife spent 30 days in jail for a minor crime and Floyd kidnapped the kids. When the woman was released, she began to search for them. 2 of the daughters were found abandoned but Suzanne and the infant son were never found. The woman tried to press kidnapping charges but was told that since Floyd was the stepdad that this wouldn’t be considered kidnapping. The FBI recently made contact her to question her about Floyd when she recognized Suzanne as her daughter in a picture the FBI showed her. DNA proved this a positive match! Unfortunately the family was given the bad news on how Suzanne spent her life and how it ended. The positive in all of this is that Suzanne’s daughter who she gave up for adoption has been found and will reunite with her biological family real soon.

  11. ct says:

    She has been ID!!!!!

  12. Ricky Campeador says:

    How come they never found Michael

  13. Dena Terry says:

    Her real name is Suzanne Marie Sevalkis.

  14. Sparkle says:

    Is this evil soul still alive? When is his execution date?

  15. Kathy says:

    have you looked into the case of the father that is looking for his daughter and its the girl in the blue dress? there childhood pictures look alot alike.

  16. Dan says:

    I want to say thank you for the comforting words from those of you who read my reply. For the others I just wanted to say that no, I am not the other guy described in the book ” a beautiful child”, I didn’t know that this was in fact my Tonya until after reading this blog, And only then did I purchase the book thru Amazon. The day it came in the mail and I opened it and looked at the cover I fell to the ground in grief. I’m not looking for any type of fame or sympathy from this. I just shared my story of meeting this wonderful young woman and having her in my life for the short time she was. I am glad to hear that they finally have identified her and her family has closure on all of this as well. I will never forget her. And I miss her even today.

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