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A boy is kidnapped from an elementary school by a man who claims to be his father.
When Michael Hughes was six years old, he was living with foster parents when he was kidnapped by Franklin Delano Floyd, who claimed to be his father. According to Floyd:
In reality, Franklin Delano Floyd is not the father of Michael Hughes. In fact, Floyd was convicted of kidnapping Michael, and sentenced to more than 50 years in prison. Floyd insists the boy is alive and safe, but he refuses to tell anyone where Michael is or who is taking care of him.
On September 12, 1994, Floyd walked into Principal James Davis’s office at an elementary school just outside of Oklahoma City. He claimed to be the father of six-year old Michael Hughes. James Davis recalled:
Floyd pulled out a gun. He threatened to kill James Davis if he didn’t take Floyd to see Michael immediately. Floyd followed the principal down this hallway to Michael’s classroom. He then forced them both into the principal’s pickup truck. James said Floyd ordered him to drive out to the country:
Floyd handcuffed James to a tree and left. James Davis was rescued several hours later, but for the next two months there was no sign of either Franklin Floyd or Michael Hughes. Floyd was finally arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, but Michael was nowhere to be found.
When authorities dug into Floyd’s background, they discovered a trail of pathological behavior that began long before the incident with Michael. About 20 years earlier, Floyd had settled in Oklahoma City using the name Trenton B. Davis. Floyd had a young girl in tow; he told everyone she was his daughter, Suzanne. Floyd moved away three years later, and for the next decade, took Suzanne from town to town, often using an alias. When Suzanne turned 17, she gave birth to Michael. Floyd claimed to be the boy’s father. He then married Suzanne, the girl he had been presenting as his daughter.
When Michael was two, Suzanne was killed in a mysterious hit-and-run accident. Though he was never charged, the prime suspect was none other than Franklin Floyd. After Suzanne’s death, Floyd left Michael in foster care and disappeared. Michael’s foster parents, Ernest and Merle Bean, remember him as a child with many difficulties. According to Ernest:
Floyd was arrested on a parole violation six months after leaving Michael. A routine blood test revealed that Floyd was not Michael’s biological father. When Floyd got out of jail, he asked that Michael be given back to him, but his request was denied. Six months later, Floyd kidnapped Michael from his first grade classroom. Michael has not been seen since. Special Agent Dan L. Vogel was with the F.B.I. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:
But Floyd wouldn’t reveal Michael’s location. From the start, the case of Michael Hughes has been full of disturbing twists and turns. Now, there is one more. Authorities learned that Michael’s mother, Suzanne, was not Floyd’s biological daughter after all. In fact, she, too, may have been kidnapped by Floyd when she was a child. Agent Dan Vogel:
Franklin Floyd sees things very differently:
Authorities were able to pin a murder charge on Franklin Floyd in a separate case: the killing of a 19-year-old named Cheryl Commesso. Floyd was sentenced to death for that crime.
In 2013, this case was reopened and reviewed by the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Over the next few years, Floyd was re-interviewed and finally identified the woman in our show as Suzanne Marie Sevakis. Floyd also told the investigators that he had killed Michael Hughes on the same day that he had kidnapped him.