Posts Tagged ‘Hit and run’

Real Name: Jayson Artis (pictured)
Nicknames/Alias: No Known Nicknames
Location of incident: Tijuana, Mexico
Date of incident: August 1, 1998
To watch the Unsolved Mysteries episode regarding the unexplained death of Jayson Artis, click: 
Published 10/31/12
TIJUANA, NEW MEXICO —
Twenty-year-old Jayson Artis and Michael Justin were both friends who attended the same college in Los Angeles, California. On August 1, 1988 the two decided to travel to Tijuana, Mexico for a party, along with Jayson’s younger brother Steve Thomas. They decided to go to Tijuana because it is one of Mexico’s most popular border towns for college students looking for fun at bargain rates.
But apparently a good time here can cost you your life.
About 9:00 pm, the three of them started hitting places that offered all you could drink for less than $5.00.  Jayson was usually friendly, but he had a reputation as a rowdy drinker. That night, he was already a little intoxicated and didn’t realize that tequila cost extra—$6.00 a shot.  Jason’s friend, Michael Justin, says that Jason got into an argument with the tequila vendor:
“Jayson didn’t want to give up the money, so I just said, ‘Jayson, give him the money. Just give him the money and let’s get out of here.’”
Jayson and Steven left Michael at the bar and went back to the strip.  Steven recalls what happened next:
“My strategy was to hurry up and find the car so we can go sit down. We’re kind of drunk, you know what I’m saying? Walking around Tijuana. We were walking down the street, and that’s when my brother accidentally bumped into a female officer.”
The officer seemed to be offended and made Jayson get on his knees. Eventually, the police let him go. Steven says he tried to get his brother to move on as quickly as possible:
“I told him, ‘Walk behind me. Come on. Let’s hurry up and try to find this car.’ He was, like, three or four yards behind me at first. That’s when I walked up some more to another block. I looked to the right, and I looked behind me and my brother wasn’t there. My first reaction was probably that he’s sitting down on a curb somewhere or sitting up against a building, anything like that…”
At approximately 1:30 a.m. Steven was looking for Jayson in the crowds of other partiers. They had become separated while heading back to their car.
“I thought he was just sitting down somewhere, resting. Or that maybe he turned down a different street,” recalls Thomas, who was 16 at the time. “All of us were finished, but he was past drunk. I was very worried that he probably went to jail.”
Soon after Steven lost sight of Jayson, Michael claims that he spotted him in the back of  a police car:
“I looked, and I said, ‘What is he doing in the back of a police car?’ They were the last people I saw Jayson with. I saw Jayson with my own eyes in the back of a police car, like I know my hand.”
That would be the last time either of the two would see Jayson alive.
Jayson was found, but not by Thomas. In the early hour Morning of August 2, 1998, at approximately 3a.m., a policeman discovered his bruised and bloodied body in an alley in Tijuana’s rundown “Zona Norte” section. His head was heavily damaged, and his chest bore bruises and broken ribs.
The American consulate sent word that he was located deceased. Tijuana Police told Jayson’s family that he must have gotten lost trying to get back to the border. They called it a ‘‘tragic hit-and-run accident.’‘ But Steven doubts that story:
“I believe that it had something to do with the police. I feel that for a fact. After Michael told me that he’d seen my brother in the back of a police car, there’s gotta be something up there.”
Infact all Jayson’s whole family believed that story didn’t add up.
“I really believe it in my heart that the police killed my son,” said Rose Arrington, Jayson’s mother. “There’s no doubt in my mind. And for somebody to beat somebody like that they had to be so angry.”
Arrington has mulled these facts every day since her son’s death: Jayson was prone to belligerence when under the influence, and was extremely intoxicated that evening. He had already had two run-ins with the police that night, and was last seen in a patrol car with four officers. Official explanation notwithstanding. His autopsy report showed that his lower body was almost entirely unscathed — injuries that many agree are inconsistent with a hit-and-run.
The dust long ago settled in the Tijuana alley where Jayson was found, a barren strip of dirt connecting two rows of car repair shops and abandoned buildings. And an investigation into his death stalled in 2000. But many years later, Jayson’s family and loved ones fear that the real story has been covered up by the Tijuana police department, and sloughed off in the shuffle of diplomacy by the American consulate.
For more of a detailed description on what happened that night, click: Answers to American’s death in Tijuana remain elusive.

 

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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!

→ After watching part 1, click the video screen which will take you to part 2

Police say an eighth grader found dying on a roadway was a hit-and-run victim, but his parents believe he was murdered.

On June 4th, 1989, in Spokane, Washington, two friends on their way home were startled when their headlights revealed a body stretched out in the road. Thirteen year-old Russell Evans had apparently been struck by a car. He was barely alive, calling out for someone named Brian. Russell was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital at 1:30 AM. Doctors struggled through the night to save his life as his parents stood by. The emergency team worked frantically, but by morning, Russell Evans was dead.

Russell was an active and popular 8th grader at Libby Middle School in Spokane. By the age of 13, he was already 6’3” tall. Aaron Abrhamson was one of his best friends:

“We did everything together. He was at my house every day and he was very well-liked. He had a good sense of humor. And he got along with pretty much everybody… he had no problems.”

On the night of June 3rd, in the hours before Russell died, he was with Aaron and other friends hanging out at a local park. It was a typical summer evening, until they were approached by two other teenagers. It escalated into an argument over Aaron’s girlfriend. Aaron said he was threatened and that Russell came to his defense:

“One of the teenagers said, ‘You’d better watch out, because maybe I’ll send my homeboys on you.’ But I didn’t really think much of it. So I just turned around and we left, and he got in his car with his friend and took off.”

After leaving the park, Russell spent the rest of the evening at a friend’s house. Then, at about 12:30 AM, he called his father to say that he was heading home.

Based on evidence found at the scene, police constructed a hit-and-run scenario. Spokane Police Lt. James Hill: ”On impact with the vehicle, he was separated from his shoes. He finally came to rest about seventy-five feet from where we think he was struck.”

Forensic pathologist George Lindholm concluded that Russell was likely struck in the back by a bumper. However, his father, John Evans, had a different opinion:

“We looked at him after he died and I thought he had been in a fight. Later on, when the police started talking about hit-and-run, his mom and I just couldn’t buy that. The injuries weren’t there.”

John and Sue Evans obtained copies of the official police report, complete with photographs. They noted that Russell’s shoes didn’t have their laces; they had been torn out. To Russell’s parents, it seemed like an important clue. The Evans’ returned to the scene of the accident with Sandy Ferris, the woman who had found Russell. Something didn’t feel right to Russell’s father:

“There was blood on the shoelace. Now tell me, how do you get blood on the shoelace if you’re struck and driven out of your shoes and thrown fifty feet down the hill?”

John and Sue became convinced that their son had been struck by something other than a hit-and-run driver, and they hired their own pathologist to investigate. While he did conclude that Russell had been hit by a car, the pathologist also told John that he found evidence of a struggle:

“This pathologist came back to us with the findings that Russell had been in a physical altercation prior to his death. If a body flies through the air, when that body hits the pavement, there would be some massive scraping. Russell did not have this.”

Based on their research, Russell’s father reconstructed his son’s final moments:

“I think it was a fight, going back up the hill. According to his hands, he got his licks in. He had finger bruises on his face and the side of the nose. Finger bruising on his upper arms, as though he were being held.”

Due to the allegations, the boys involved in the altercation with Russell and Aaron were given polygraph tests. They all passed.

Sandy Ferris, the woman who found Russell at the scene, claimed Russell was calling out to someone for help that night:

“When I first got there, the first thing I asked him was what happened. And he started calling for Brian. He said it more like the person was in listening in the distance, that his friend should have been there. After the police had gotten there, and they had started to put Russell in the ambulance, we saw a boy in white shorts up in the bushes and he was running up the hill. I tried to tell the policeman this a couple of times, but he kept telling me to get on the sidewalk. I thought maybe that could have been Brian.”

John Evans knew a friend of Russell’s named Brian and asked him if he knew anything:

“I asked Brian what he was wearing that night, and he said ‘Well, I was wearing white shorts and white t-shirt. But I was nowhere around.’ Then, later down the line, when the police questioned him, he denied owning that kind of outfit.”

Police speculate that the man Sandy saw running off was simply a curious citizen that heard the commotion and went out to take a look. But when Sue Evans arrived at the hospital that night, someone named Brian had just called the emergency ward to ask about Russell. She finds this more than suspicious:

“Who would have known about this? Unless somebody named Brian was at that scene, who he was calling for.”

Russell’s father John remains suspicious about the events of that night:

“There may be one or two people that know more than they’re telling, and the reason they’re probably not telling is that they are afraid for their lives.”

Evidence from the scene fully convinced Russell’s parents that he had been attacked and murdered, while police still believe Russell was the victim of a hit-and-run. However, officially, the case remains unsolved.

Unknown Hit and Run Driver Still Eludes Justice

On December 23, 1982, 15 year old Sherry Miller and her brother in law were walking along Route 101 in the town of Dayville, just miles from the Rhode Island border. Just before 9PM that night, She was fatally hit by an older model dark-colored pick-up-truck. The vehicle was described as having damage to the right front side it was also missing a mirror and a radio antennae. It has been 25 years since this hit and run driver has eluded justice and her family desperately wants to find the individual(s) responsible for her untimely death. If you have any information, please call the State Police at Troop D at 860-779-3900.

Justice Is Still Elusive in New Haven Hit And Run Fatality

It was early Saturday morning on August 20, 1994 when 24 year old Richard Riccio and a group of his friends were walking on the Tomlinson Bridge on Forbes Avenue near Waterfront Street. Riccio was struck and killed by a vehicle described as being white, gray, or light-colored. It was a small to midsize car, possibly of Japanese make, maybe a newer model. Witnesss acounts state that the car was driven by a male with a possible female passenger in it. It is believed that the vehicle sustained damage to the front end and hood area, the front grille, and a smashed front window. The car was last seen driving from Styles Street over the Q Bridge, off Interstate-95 into the James Street area. The State of Connecticut has authorized a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this for this crime. If you have information you may contact the New Haven Police at 203-946-6304.