After a long sabbatical, due to some personal reasons and life changes, I have returned and I have a complex case for you all to enjoy. Here is the twisted case of Franklin Delano Floyd and Suzanne Sevakis.
Franklin Delano Floyd was born June 17, 1943 in Barnesville, GA. He was the youngest of five children to Thomas and Della Floyd. Thomas would die in 1944 from kidney and liver failure at 32 years old. He had been an alcoholic. His mother was a 29 year old widow with five kids and she found herself living back with her parents in a small apartment. Sadly after two years she was asked to move out and the children were given over to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home in Hapeville, FL.
Franklin was a victim of bullying in the children’s home due to being too “feminine”. He was sodomized at 6 years old with a broom stick by the other kids. There were also harsh punishments handed down by the staff as well. As a teen he was caught masturbating and had his hands dipped into boiling water. Franklin would also be disciplined for fighting and stealing.
In 1957, Franklin was approximately 14 years old, his youngest sister closest to him in age left the children’s home. Two years later, he ran away and was later arrested for breaking into a house to steal food. His sister, Dorothy, who was married with children of her own in South Carolina took custody of him to prevent charges being filed. Not long after Dorothy kicked her brother out.
Franklin began to track down his mother, and eventually found her in the Indianapolis area working as a prostitute. Della helped forge documents saying that Franklin was older than his 16 years, allowing him to go to California and join the Army. He was discharged 6 months later for being underage and having false papers. Franklin was unable to locate his mother again, and he became a drifter.
Della died on July 2, 1968, and is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois.
Franklin’s life did not become normal. In 1960 he broke into a SEARS store and stole a gun. When police responded he was shot in the stomach which required surgery and he eventually recovered. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t be discussing his life at this time. After his recovery he was sent to a youth institution and in 1961 violated his parole by going to Canada for a fishing trip with a friend.
In May of 1962, Franklin was back in Georgia working at the Atlanta airport. He was 18 years old and a month into his new job he abducted a 4 year old girl from a local bowling alley. He took her to the woods where he sexually assaulted her. Franklin was arrested and sentenced to 10-20 years. I would like to say that he learned his lesson by serving his time, but in 1963 he escaped. While being transferred for a medical errand, Franklin escaped his guards and fled to Macon. There he stole $6000 and was again arrested. He was then sent to serve time in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Franklin’s time in prison was not ideal. He was still an effeminate man and was continually raped by inmates. A second escape attempt took him to Pennsylvania and after a suicide threat, he was transferred to Marion, Illinois. Eventually in 1968 he was back in Georgia and had finally made a friend named, David Dial.
November of 1972, 10 years after his initial sentencing, Franklin was released to a halfway house. Less than 2 months later, January of 1973 he approached a woman and forced her into a car where he attempted to sexually assault her. She was able to escape and Franklin was arrested again. Calling on his friend David Dial, he asked him to post his bond, and then Franklin fled. He was now a fugitive.
Sandra Brandenburg was a single mother of four young children. Her oldest daughter, Suzanne was born in 1969 from the marriage of her first husband Cliff. They separated after he went to Vietnam and he never was around much after that. Sandra also had three other children from her marriage to Dennis Brandenburg, one that had ended most likely in divorce. Their three children included Allison born in 1971, Amy born in 1972 and Philip born in 1974.
In 1974, Sandra was in jeopardy of losing her children due to some bad checks that she had written. But after meeting 31 year old, Brandon Cleo Williams in 1974, at a North Carolina truck stop, the two married after a month when he promised he would help her raise her children.
In 1975, Sandra was jailed for 30 days, and she was leaving her children in the care of her husband, Brandon. When she got out after 30 days, her home was vacated, her husband was gone, and her children were missing. Of her four children, she would only ever find Alison and Amy who were in the care of a local church social services group.
Sandra would never know what happened to Suzanne or Philip. Sandra died in 2019, and after her death a man came forward believing he was Philip Brandenburg. DNA testing proved he was and it was learned that he had been privately adopted in North Carolina shortly after he was born.
It should be no surprise that Brandon Cleo Williams was an alias of Franklin Floyd. Suzanne Sevakis was alive and currently living with him, and being raised as his daughter. In 1975 Suzanne Davis and her father, Trenton Davis were in Oklahoma City, and she was registered to attend school there. Franklin and Suzanne would live by numerous aliases.
Not much is known about the next 10 years of Suzanne’s life with Franklin. They moved often and changed names frequently. In 1986, Sharon Marshall and her father, Warren Marshall were living in Forest Park, Georgia, and she graduated from high school. Sharon’s dream was to work for NASA and she had qualified for a full scholarship to the Georgia Institute of Technology to study Aerospace Engineering.
Unfortunately her “father”, wasn’t going to allow her to leave him to go to school and live her life away from him. Sharon learned she was pregnant, and it is unknown who the father of the child was, but it is believed that her own “father” was the father. Because of this pregnancy her scholarship was rescinded and she was not able to attend the school and pursue her dreams.
After discovering her pregnancy, Sharon and Warren moved to Tampa, FL, and she gave birth, the child was put up for adoption. While in Tampa, with her “father’s” approval, Sharon began working as a stripper, and would soon have a private relationship with Gregory Hines who is believed to father her second child, Michael Anthony, who was born in 1988.
To give Michael a sense of family and have a father figure, Sharon and Warren moved to New Orleans, LA, and became husband and wife. Now known as Clarence and Tonya Tadlock Hughes. A third child would be born by Tonya (Suzanne) in 1989, again believed to be fathered by Clarence (Franklin Delano Floyd). This child, a girl, was also put up for adoption, her name is Megan Dufrense.
Michael Anthony was the only child that Suzanne was able to keep and raise. He was born in 1988, and his father is believed to be Gregory Hines, even though he was raised by his mother and Franklin Delano Floyd as their son. He was the pride and joy of his mother, but was rather stunted in his development. At two years old he was not verbal, had limited muscle control, and the mental equivalency of a 9 month old.
At two years old his mother unexpectedly died while walking home from getting some groceries. She was hit by a car and was found on the side of the highway by three people. She had severe bruising and a large hematoma. Michael was placed into foster care in the state of Oklahoma as Franklin wasn’t able to care for him. Six months later Franklin was arrested for a parole violation.
Prior to her accident, she and Franklin had been arguing. Suzanne had planned to leave with her son and run away with her boyfriend, Kevin Brown. They had been having a secret affair but Franklin had learned about it. During the time of the accident, Franklin claimed he had been asleep at the Motel 6 that they were staying at. It is suspected, but not proven that Franklin had hit her with the car and then left her to die. Suzanne would die of her injuries in April of 1990. She was only 20 years old.
While working at the strip club in Tampa, Suzanne known as Tonya met a girl, Cheryl Commesso. Cheryl had a similar background and could see that Tonya was not in a healthy relationship. She would often encourage her to leave with her son and get away from Clarence. In 1989 there was an altercation between Cheryl and Clarence as he believed that she had reported Tonya for misreporting her income and as a result they lost their government benefits. Clarence did not work, but cared for Michael. At this altercation Cheryl had been hit in the face. Shortly afterwards she disappeared.
Because of her disappearance, Tonya and Clarence were persons of interest in her disappearance but they had left town before any further investigation.
In 1995, skeletal remains were found by a landscaper in Florida. The remains were examined by an archeologist who stated that the remains had been from a woman who was beaten and had 2 gunshots to the head.
In Kansas, a mechanic had won a truck at an auction. After taking the truck home and looking it over, he had found a large envelope stuffed between the gas tank and truck bed. The envelope was filled with pictures that the mechanic gave to the police.
These photos showed a woman, bound and severely beaten. The injuries in the pictures matched those of the remains found in Florida. The woman in the picture was Cheryl Commesso.
The truck that had the photos hidden inside was traced back to Oklahoma where it had been stolen in September of 1994 and abandoned in Texas a month later. The person who had stolen this vehicle was Franklin Delano Floyd.
The truck held more photos than just Cheryl. There were dozens of photographs of a young girl. Signs of sexual abuse were evident and sexually explicit poses at various ages were captured. The girl was unknown.
In 1994, Franklin Delano Floyd petitioned the court to gain custody of Michael. But due to his criminal record and the DNA proof that he was not his biological father, his request was denied.
6 months later, Michael Anthony Hughes was still in the foster care system and had been cared for by Ernest and Merle Bean. They were and are well known in the foster system for caring for as many children as possible. They truly loved all the children they took in even if it was for a few days. Michael was no exception. As they had cared for Michael so long they started the process to adopt him into their family. In their care he progressed greatly and was able to attend school when he was old enough.
Michael was six years old and in the first grade at Indian Meridian Elementary School. Franklin arrived at Michael’s school and armed with a gun demanded that the principal, James Davis, take him to Michael’s classroom. And he did it.
Both the principal and Michael were ushered into a truck and driven out to the country. James Davis was handcuffed to a tree and left behind. Michael was in the truck with Franklin and never seen again.
In 2001 Franklin was tried and convicted for the murder of Cheryl Commesso. He was sentenced to death.
However the question remained, where was Michael?
In 2014, Franklin was being questioned by the FBI and finally came clean about Michael and the unknown girl in the pictures. He stated that Michael had been murdered the same day he had been kidnapped. The boy had been crying and Franklin shot him twice in the back of the head and buried him near the last exit before the Oklahoma/Texas border. The area was searched but no body or remains have ever been found. It is suspected that wild hogs may have found and eaten the remains. Even though there wasn’t a body to mourn over, Ernest and Merle were able to get closure on the little boy they loved and were planning to adopt.
The girl in the pictures that was previously unknown, was Suzanne Sevakis. Franklin admitted to kidnapping her in 1975, and how he had kept her with him until her death. He did not confess to any involvement in her death. But at least her mother was able to get closure on what happened to her oldest child.
Megan Dufresne was unable to have a relationship with her mother or brother, but has been able to build a relationship with her grandfather Cliff. Her grandmother Sandra was not open to building a relationship.