Details of Disappearance
Michael's case begins with the abduction of his mother, Suzanne Sevakis. Franklin Delano Floyd had married Suzanne's biological mother in North Carolina, while using an alias name.
Suzanne's mother had three daughters and an infant son from a prior marriage. She was incarcerated for a brief period in Dallas, Texas in 1975 and when she was released from jail, Floyd and the children had disappeared. Two of the girls eventually turned up at a children's home, but Suzanne and her one-year-old brother were still missing.
The police refused to investigate the matter because, as their stepfather, Floyd had a right to take the children. Suzanne and her brother were never officially reported missing.
Floyd and Suzanne surfaced in an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma later that year, and she was enrolled in school under the name Suzanne Davis. Davis graduated from high school in Forest Park, Georgia in 1986. Investigators determined she moved to Phoenix, Arizona later during that year under the name Sharon Marshall.
She gave birth to Michael in Tampa, Florida on March 21, 1988 while apparently using the alias Tonya Dawn Tadlock. It is known that Floyd used the aliases Charles Hughes and Clarence Marcus Hughes during this time; authorities believe that this was the reason Michael was given the last name of Hughes at birth.
In another bizarre twist, Floyd and Michael's mother were married in New Orleans in 1989 under the names Tonya Tadlock and Clarence Hughes. Both Floyd and the woman were wanted in connection with a Florida homicide by 1990. Before any legal action could be taken against them, the woman was killed in a suspicious hit-and-run vehicular accident in Oklahoma City in April 1990. Floyd is the main suspect in her death.
Authorities did not realize the woman's identity was unknown until after she was killed; only then did it come to public attention that Floyd abducted her years earlier. She remained unidentified for a further two and a half decades, however.
Michael was placed in foster care in Oklahoma after his mother's death, when he was two years old. His foster parents, Merle and Ernest Bean, who kept him for almost four years, told authorities that he had limited muscle control, was non-verbal and often exhibited hysterical behavior when he first arrived at their home. However, Michael apparently made great progress in foster care before his abduction in 1994, and the Beans had begun adoption proceedings for him.
Floyd tried to get Michael back, claiming he was the child's biological father and that Michael's foster parents were abusive, but a blood test proved he and Michael weren't related and his efforts to get custody came to nothing.
Investigators began probing Floyd's background after Michael's mother's death. They learned he was a career criminal who had been arrested in 1960 at age 17 after a gunfight with law enforcement during a burglary. Floyd had also been convicted of abducting and raping a young girl in 1962.
Authorities searched Floyd's truck and discovered numerous photos of Michael's mother as a child in sexually explicit poses. The photos showed the girl from approximately age four through her adolescence. Other pornographic images of young women and girls were also located in Floyd's vehicle.
Floyd used the aliases Trenton Davis, Warren Judson Marshall, Preston Morgan and Kingfish Floyd in addition to the names previously mentioned in his criminal past.
Floyd abducted Michael from Indian Meridian Elementary School in Choctaw, Oklahoma on September 12, 1994. He held school officials at gunpoint and forced Michael and the principal into the principal's pickup truck. Floyd tied the principal to a tree in a nearby field and escaped with Michael.
The principal was rescued several hours later and was not physically harmed. Michael has never been seen again. A month after the kidnapping, the stolen pickup truck turned up in Dallas, Texas.
Due to the confidentiality laws dealing with foster care, Michael's foster parents weren't allowed to talk to anyone about his disappearance. It wasn't until the FBI made a public appeal for information in Michael's case that the Beans were permitted to discuss his abduction with the media.
Floyd was arrested in Kentucky two months after the child was last seen, but he refused to divulge Michael's whereabouts, saying he had taken him to a safe place. He was convicted of Michael's kidnapping and was sentenced to 52 years in prison.
Floyd claimed that Michael was living outside the United States or in the Atlanta, Georgia or Kansas City, Missouri areas, but the government had witness statements detailing alleged confessions by Floyd regarding Michael's death.
Floyd reportedly told his sister he drowned the child in a bathtub in a Georgia motel in 1994. Other witnesses stated that Floyd told them he murdered Michael in the same manner, while another person claimed he saw Floyd bury Michael's body in a cemetery.
Due to these allegations and Floyd's history of criminal conduct, authorities believed Michael met with foul play. Floyd has not been charged in connection with Michael's assumed death or Michael's mother's case, but he is still being investigated for his roles in the crimes.
Floyd was charged while in prison with the 1989 murder of Cheryl Ann Commesso, a teenage exotic dancer who had been a coworker and friend of Suzanne Sevakis. Her body was found along Interstate 275 and remained unidentified for six years.
Floyd has a history of mental problems, including a diagnosis of schizophrenia, and was initially declared incompetent to stand trial, but regained his competency in a state mental hospital. After his conviction, his lawyers tried to mitigate his crime by having him testify about his childhood in an orphanage, but he was sentenced to death. Now awaiting execution in Florida, Floyd admits he committed numerous crimes, but maintains his innocence in Commesso's murder.
Suzanne Sevakis was identified as Michael's mother in summer of 2014, 24 years after her death, although this information wasn't made public until October. When interviewed in prison earlier in 2014, Floyd told the FBI about his marriage to Suzanne's mother. FBI agents visited Suzanne's mother, who identified a photo of the girl as her daughter. A DNA test confirmed the identification.
In September 2014, two FBI agents interviewed Floyd on death row and he admitted he had killed Michael on the same day he abused the child. He said he had planned to raise Michael himself, but the boy had grown apart from him during his years in foster care and no longer loved him.
During the drive to Dallas, Michael had gotten out of control and Floyd couldn't handle his behavior. Floyd said he shot him twice in the head, and expressed no remorse for his actions. He said he'd buried Michael's body on Interstate 35, at the last Oklahoma exit before the Texas border. A search of that area in March 2015 turned up no evidence, however. Authorities stated it was likely that wild hogs in the area would have consumed the body, even the bones.
Suzanne's missing brother was located alive in 2019. He had been adopted in North Carolina shortly after he went missing. The whereabouts of Michael, however, are still unknown.