‘Girl in the Picture’: Franklin Delano Floyd’s Criminal History
Girl in the Picture has captivated true crime fans since its release on Netflix early in July. The tragic tale of a woman kidnapped as a child by her stepfather is among the most layered true crime stories to make it to the mainstream media in decades. There is even more to the story, though. Franklin Delano Floyd, the man who kidnapped Suzanne Sevakis and raised her as Sharon Marshall before marrying her as Tonya Hughes, had a long criminal history before he kidnapped Suzanne.
Franklin Delano Floyd had a long criminal history before he kidnapped Suzanne Sevakis
Floyd is now a household name, but long before he met Sevakis’ mother and kidnapped the young girl, he had a long and complicated arrest record. According to the book, A Beautiful Child, which chronicles the tragic case of Sevakis, Floyd’s first run-in with the police occurred in 1960, when he was still a teen. According to the author, Matt Birkbeck, Floyd was arrested after breaking into a department store.
He was released a year later. In 1962, he was arrested for kidnapping and child molestation. In 1963, while serving a lengthy prison term, he escaped. Floyd robbed a bank while on the run and was once again arrested. He was released from prison in 1972 but arrested again in January 1973 for sexual assault. While awaiting trial on that charge, he fled.
As a fugitive, Floyd met Sandra Brandenburg, telling her his name was Brandon Williams. The two married after a short courtship. Floyd kidnapped Sevakis while Brandenburg was in jail on fraud charges in 1975. Brandenburg’s other children were relinquished to foster care.
He was never arrested in connection to Sevakis’ death
Floyd’s criminal history was long before the kidnapping, but after he took Suzanne and raised her as Sharon Marshall, he flew almost entirely under the radar. Floyd didn’t have any further interactions with the police until Sevakis died in 1990. Police spoke to him following her death.
In 1990, Sevakis was found on the road, gravely injured. She later died at an area hospital. Groceries were strewn nearby, suggesting she had been walking back to an area motel after visiting a local store. Sevakis’ death is classified as a hit and run. No one has ever been charged with her death. Floyd claimed to have fallen asleep while awaiting Sevakis’ return from the store.
Is Franklin Delano Floyd still alive?
Floyd left a trail of pain and despair in his wake and changed the course of multiple people’s lives. While several people died or went missing while in his presence, Floyd himself is alive.
Floyd was arrested in 1994 after a two-months long manhunt for him following the kidnapping of Michael Hughes, Sevakis’ son. He stood trial for Michael’s abduction and the death of Cheryl Ann Commesso in 2002 after a judge had previously ruled that he was unfit. Commesso disappeared in 1989 after an altercation with Floyd.
Floyd was convicted of both crimes and sentenced to death. While he did receive the death penalty, no date has been set for his execution. According to Country Living, Floyd is on death row at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida. Floyd is 79 years old. Sevakis, who died at 21, would have been 52 now. Michael, whose death has never been confirmed, would be 34.