Franklin Delano Floyd is still alive today and is on death row in a Florida state prison, convicted on murder, kidnap and rape charges. He is now 79 years old. Floyd is a person of interest in the kidnap and murder of Suzanne Marie Sevakis, who was using the name Sharon Marshall at the time of her death in 1990. He was convicted in the kidnap of her son, Michael Hughes, and the murder of Sevakis’ friend, Cheryl Commesso.
Floyd evaded capture for years under aliases, including Warren Judson Marshall and Clarence Marcus Hughes. Sevakis became Floyd’s stepdaughter when he married Sandra Chipman, and left with Chipman’s three daughters. The two younger daughters, Allison and Amy, were left in the care of a children’s home.
But Floyd took the oldest daughter and gave her the name Sharon Marshall, identifying her as his daughter, according to an FBI report. Sevakis was about 6 years old at the time of her kidnap in 1975, and remained with Floyd for the rest of her life. FBI agents believe she was murdered at age 20 when she was using the name Tonya Hughes.
The story was told on Netflix documentary, “Girl in the Picture,” which was released in July 2022.
Here’s what you need to know:
Floyd Is on Death Row in the Murder of Commesso & an Execution Date Has Not Been Set
Floyd’s death sentence and conviction stems from the murder of Commesso, who went missing at age 18 in 1989. Her remains were found in 1995, and a Pinellas County grand jury indicted him November 12, 1997, according to court documents filed in his case. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 2002, according to his prison record.
Here is his inmate record from Union Correctional Institution:
His prison records indicate an execution date has not yet been set.
Commesso had dreams of becoming a Playboy model, and worked with Marshall as an exotic dancer. Floyd filmed Commesso topless under the guise of sending the images to Playboy. He became increasingly violent with Commesso prior to her disappearance, court records indicate. Her murder was solved when FBI agents found photos linked to Floyd showing the beating of a woman, later identified as the missing teen, and her skeletal remains were found.
Floyd has had serious health issues for years, according to the FBI, and agents said it is likely he will die of natural causes before an execution date can be set.
Floyd Was Arrested in Kentucky After Kidnapping Hughes at Gunpoint From School & Leaving the Principal Handcuffed to a Tree
Floyd was arrested in 1994 in Louisville, Kentucky, following the kidnap of 6-year-old Michael Anthony Hughes at gunpoint from an Oklahoma elementary school, according to court documents filed in his case. He was convicted in 2002 in Pinellas County, Florida, in the murder of Commesso years earlier, and sentenced to death. The death of Sevakis, as well as her identity, remained a mystery until long after his conviction.
The Courier Journal reported that at the time of Floyd’s arrest by the FBI, he had been living alone in an East Broadway apartment for about six weeks, and had just been offered a job as a car salesman. He was arrested in the kidnap of Michael Hughes, a crime that landed him on the TV show “America’s Most Wanted.” He took Hughes from school after handcuffing the school principal to a tree, and fled in the principal’s pickup, the Courier-Journal reported.
Read more about the boy’s kidnap and murder here.
Floyd denied involvement in Hughes’ kidnap at the time of the arrest. He described the boy as his son, although a paternity test showed he was not the father.
“I did not kidnap my son,” he said, according to the Courier Journal, which covered his court appearance. “I want the record to show that if they (the FBI) know where he is, they need to recover him and get it straight.”
He was convicted in the kidnapping in an Oklahoma federal court. Floyd later told FBI agents he shot Hughes twice in the back of the head on the same day as the kidnap, the FBI reported.