Suzanne Marie Sevakis was knocked down by a vehicle on the side of a road in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was her hospitalized for five days before she died in April 1990 of her wounds, at just 20 years old.
At the time Suzanne was living under the name of Tonya Hughes and worked at a strip club as a dancer. Several years before the tragic events of 1990, she had been abducted at the age of 5 by Franklin Delano Floyd, who was both her step-father and eventual husband and who was also living under a false identity as Clarence Hughes at the time of Suzanne’s death.
Netflix’s true crime documentary, Girl In The Picture, did its very best to tell the story of the tragic life and early death of Suzanne Marie Sevakis as well as how several years of investigation eventually uncovered her link to a number of siblings and the children she had for her step-father. It also reveals how Sevakis was failed by the institutions and people around her, all of whom should have done more to stop such a bizarre event from finding its way into the history books.
Suzanne Sevakis Was Born In 1970
As previously stated, the sequence of events that were shown to viewers all over the world was designed to draw attention to the true life story of Suzanne Marie Sevakis. She was one of four children born to a woman simply described as Sandra Brandenburg (also known as Sandi Willet).
According to the facts presented by the documentary, as well as based on how old she was at the time of her death, Suzanne Marie Mavekis was born in 1970. It’s important to unveil the fact that several aspects of Suzanne’s identity were not revealed until several years after her death.
For example, she was only identified as Suzanne Marie Mavekis in 2014, 24 years after her death, following conclusive DNA tests that were carried out on her remains. Additionally, the exact date and month of her birth were not revealed in the documentary and not much is known about the identity of her birth father.
Suzanne Mavekis is the oldest of her mother’s four children. She has two younger half-sisters named Amy and Allison Sevakis, as well as a younger brother named Philip Sevakis, and they all formed a family which would later involve Franklin Delano Floyd, the man who is as much central to the Suzanne Marie Sevakis story as Suzanne herself.
She Was Kidnapped By Her Step-father, Franklin Floyd at the Age of Five
The events of Girl In The Picture reveal the fact that Franklin Floyd was Sandi Willet’s third husband. Furthermore, the DNA test that confirmed Sevakis’ true identity also revealed the fact that she was indeed the same five-year-old girl who had been kidnapped by her stepfather in 1975.
The opportunity to perpetuate this heinous act was presented to Floyd after Suzanne’s mother was sentenced to spend thirty days in jail for issuing fake cheques to a grocery store where she tried to buy care products including nappies for her kids.
Despite promising to care for Sandi’s kids during her incarceration, Floyd ended up doing the exact opposite of what he had promised by fleeing with his wife’s four children including Suzanne. According to several reliable reports, Suzanne’s two younger half-sisters were immediately placed in foster care but she and her then-one-year-old brother Philip remained in her step-father’s custody.
Somewhere down the line, Philip’s part in the story diminished until a man came forward in 2019 to reveal the fact that he was the Philip related to Suzanne Sevakis. DNA testing confirmed his assertions as well as the fact that he had been secretly adopted by a couple who raised him in North Carolina.
Suzanne Sevakis Was Repeatedly Sexually Molested By Her Abductor
Suzanne Sevakis was subjected to some of the worst forms of physical, emotional, and mental abuse including rape and physical violence by Franklin Floyd. As has been confirmed by several sources including the Netflix documentary based on Sevakis’ time on earth, her troubles essentially began as soon as she and Floyd ended up in Georgia.
He started his evil scheme and agenda by changing her name to Sharon Marshall and raising her as his daughter. Most of her high school years were a nightmare as she was subjected to multiple forms of abuse including physical and sexual.
One of Suzanne’s friends from that time described in the documentary how during a sleepover at “Sharon’s” house, Floyd had threatened her with a weapon before raping Suzanne right in front of her.
Suzanne has been described by many who knew her as a brilliant girl who had dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer. Those dreams helped her land a scholarship to pursue her dreams at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
However, around the time the opportunity arrived in 1986, she discovered she was pregnant, and her stepfather/abductor selfishly refused to let her continue her education and instead placed her into sex work.
Suzanne Sevakis Died In April 1990
Feeling the heat of the attention that would likely be drawn to Suzanne’s living situation, Floyd decided it was time to move on from Georgia with Suzanne in tow. Their destination? Tampa, Florida.
When they arrived there, he changed their names to Clarence and Tonya Hughes, and they started living as man and wife. After giving birth to their son Michael, Suzanne started working as a stripper, and in June 1989 they made their pseudo-marital status official during a trip to New Orleans.
While working as a stripper in the city, Suzanne reportedly confided in a close friend and coworker about how scared she was for her life, a state of mind that was made even worse by the fact that her husband had taken out a life insurance policy in her name.
Nonetheless, and essentially due to the fact that Floyd, most likely in anticipation that Suzanne might leave him, always kept their son close to himself, Suzanne just couldn’t leave him with their son in his custody.
That decision proved misguided in many people’s opinion because Suzanne’s body was soon found on the roadside in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and all signs pointed to the fact that she had been a victim of a hit-and-run. After five days in the hospital some of which were spent in the ICU, the woman who was known as Tonya Hughes died.
Suzanne Sevakis Had At Least Two Children
Suzanne Sevakis was a mother of two children, a son who was known as Michael Hughes, and a daughter who is now identified as Megan Dufrense. Michael was born almost soon after Suzanne and Floyd arrived in Tampa, Florida. His sister Megan was born in 1989 during Floyd and Sevakis’ trip to New Orleans.
Unlike Michael who continued to live with the victim and Floyd until her death, Megan was given up for adoption. Interestingly, while all signs point to the fact that Suzanne was the mother of the aforementioned children, question marks remain over whether Floyd was their biological father.
In Michael’s case, DNA testing confirmed that he was not Franklin Floyd’s biological son. Documents pulled from the case the government later prepared against Floyd reveal that that privilege may belong to Suzanne’s high school boyfriend Gregory Higgs even though he had previously received a call from Floyd claiming that he was the father of the boy.
Megan currently lives in Louisiana where she reportedly works as a research coordinator at a sports medicine clinic. She is also married with two children, one of whom she named after her brother Michael.
Investigation Into Suzanne’s Death Unveiled her Real Identity
Following her demise, the hospital staff who had also noticed signs of physical abuse on Sevakis’ chest, arms, and head immediately looked to the much older Floyd, then living under the alias of Clarence as a significant person of interest in the death of Suzanne, also mainly under the alias Tonya Hughes at the time.
After making it her personal mission to find the birth family of her deceased friend, Suzanne’s coworker inadvertently opened a can of worms that exposed the activities and identity of the man the woman known as Tonya was married to.
Firstly, her efforts after finding the real Tonya’s mother uncovered the fact that the real Tonya Hughes was in fact an 18-month-old baby who had died 20 years prior to Suzanne’s demise.
Further investigation into the matter further unveiled the fact that the man who portrayed himself as Clarence Hughes was indeed Franklin Floyd, a man on the run from the law who had kidnapped the then-recently-deceased woman known as Tonya Hughes. It was also revealed that Suzanne never knew her true identity.
Investigation Also Unveiled Franklin Floyd’s Detailed Criminal History
As previously stated, Suzanne Sevakis’ abductor is as much central to the story of the Girl In The Picture as Suzanne herself. In the process of uncovering the layers of falsehood surrounding Suzanne’s identity, it was discovered that the much older man who claimed to be her husband was Franklin Delano Floyd, a long-term fugitive who had evaded arrest for several years.
Born in 1943, Floyd’s criminal record would amply fill a dossier. His criminal past included the fact that he had been previously sentenced to 10 to 20 years for sexually assaulting a four-year-old he had kidnapped from a bowling alley in 1962. He was reportedly 18 years old at the time.
A failed escape attempt resulted in a bank robbery in 1963. After serving ten years, he was released in 1972 but his reprieve was short-lived because he was arrested again after just two months of freedom for another sexual assault, this time at a gas station. He disappeared without a trace in June 1973 after a prison friend had posted bail.
It was during his time on the run that he started using different aliases including Trenton Davis, Warren Marshall, and Brandon Williams. It was also during this time that he met and married Suzanne’s mother Sandi Willet, then Sandra Brandenburg.
Hauntingly, these details about Franklin Floyd’s real identity were uncovered rather too late for Suzanne but it was enough for the authorities to build a case against Floyd who was later arrested and convicted of possession of a firearm in 1991.
Suzanne Sevakis’ Kidnapper Is Currently On Death Row
Following Floyd’s arrest in 1991, Michael was placed in foster care where the couple who took him in tried to adopt him. However, for the umpteenth time, Floyd bizarrely escaped the clutches of the authorities and continued on his evil path.
He stormed Michael’s school in September 1994 and took the boy and his principal at gunpoint. They escaped in the Principal’s truck but the latter was found duct taped and tied to a tree down a dirt road near the tree. Michael was not so lucky because he hasn’t been seen or heard from since he was kidnapped.
Floyd, though, during an interview with the FBI in 2015 claimed he had shot Michael twice in the head and buried his body. However, when authorities arrived at the site where he claimed the body was buried, nothing was found, and that has relatively left a perpetual question mark about Michael’s whereabouts.
To get a relatively decent clue of the events that led up to Floyd’s current whereabouts as a guest of the state, it is important to point out that he was finally arrested in Kentucky for Michael’s kidnap in November 1994, convicted, and sentenced to 52 years in prison.
Further nemesis caught up with him after the body of Cheryl Commesso, Suzanne’s former coworker, was discovered on the interstate in March 1995. She had reportedly mysteriously disappeared after an argument with Floyd in 1989.
He was tried and sentenced to death for that crime in 2002 and is currently on death row at Union Correctional Facility, in Pinellas County, Florida, where his execution date has yet to be determined.
Interestingly, and despite his seemingly apparent involvement in the abduction and death of Suzanne Sevakis, Franklin Delano Floyd is on death row for the murder of Cheryl Comesso. It would seem that the state has not found enough to tie him to the murder of the Girl In The Picture, a reality that means that the case into Suzanne Sevakis’ death remains open and that her abductor Floyd has not been convicted of his involvement in it.