Real Name: Michael Anthony Hughes
Nicknames: Michael Gregory Marshall
Location: Choctaw, Oklahoma
Date: September 12, 1994
Date of Birth: March 21, 1988
Weight: 45 lbs.
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian male with brown hair and brown eyes. Michael has a scar on his forehead and had two permanent crooked bottom teeth that were new when he disappeared.
Details: Six-year-old Michael Hughes attended Indian Meridian Elementary School in Choctaw, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City. He lived with foster parents Ernest and Merle Bean. On September 12, 1994, Franklin Floyd, a man claiming to be his father, entered the school and went to principal James Davis' office. He pulled out a gun and forced James to take him to Michael's classroom. He then forced both of them into James' pickup truck and ordered him to drive out into the country. In a wooded area, he handcuffed James to a tree and fled with Michael. Five hours later, James was rescued, but for the next two months, there was no sign of Franklin or Michael. Finally, in November, Franklin was arrested in Louisville, Kentucky. However, Michael was nowhere to be found.
As police delved into this case, they made several disturbing discoveries. In 1975, Franking, then thirty-two, turned up in Oklahoma City. He was going by the name "Trenton B. Davis" and had a young girl with him. He claimed that she was his daughter, Suzanne. Over the next decade, they moved from town to town, using a variety of aliases. In 1988, Suzanne, then seventeen, gave birth to Michael. Incredibly, Floyd claimed to be his father. Even more incredibly, he then married Suzanne.
On April 30, 1990, when Michael was two, Suzanne was killed in a suspicious hit-and-run accident. The prime suspect was Franklin, although he was never charged. He vanished soon after her death, leaving Michael in foster care. Ernest and Merle remembered that he had many developmental problems. He had limited muscle control, was non-verbal, and often hysterical. They claim that he was considered at the age of two to be the mental equivalent of a nine-month-old. While in foster care, however, he made great developmental progress.
Six months after abandoning Michael, Franklin was arrested on a parole violation. A routine blood test led to a somewhat surprising discovery: he was not his biological father. After being released from prison, he requested that custody of Michael be returned to him. Thay was denied. Six months later, he abducted him from his classroom. In April 1995, a judge found him guilty of Michael's kidnapping. He is currently serving a fifty-two-year sentence for it. He has refused to divulge Michael's whereabouts, but claims that he is alive and safe.
Investigators tried to look further into Suzanne's background. They were disturbed to discover that she was not Floyd's biological daughter either; in fact, they believe that she was abducted by him as well. He, however, claimed that she was "abandoned" to him and that he "did her a favor" for taking and raising her. She was most likely been abducted by him between 1973 and 1975. Over the years, she lived in Georgia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Florida, and Arizona. Police suspect that Michael may be in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
Suspects: Franklin was convicted of abducting Michael, however, it is not known if he killed him. He claims to have drowned him in a motel pool in Georgia and buried him in a cemetery. He has also claimed that he is alive, but keeps changing his story, completely unable to tell the truth.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 15, 1995 episode. Kevin Ogle of KFOR-TV helped to present it. It was also referenced on Motives & Murders: Cracking the Case, which focused primarily on the 1989 murder of Cheryl Commesso.
Results: Unresolved. In 1997, Franklin was charged with the 1989 murder of eighteen-year-old Cheryl Commesso, a dancer and coworker of Suzanne's. Her skeletal remains were found off Interstate 275 in Pinellas County, Florida. She had been beaten and shot to death. It was discovered that she had vanished shortly after getting into an altercation with Franklin. They had fled shortly after her disappearance. In March 1995, photographs were found in a truck that had previously belonged to Franklin. They showed her bound and severely beaten. In 2002, Franklin was convicted and sentenced to death for her murder. He is now awaiting execution.
In September 2014, FBI agents reinterviewed Franklin. He finally confessed to killing Michael, claiming that it occurred on the day of the abduction. He claimed that while driving to Dallas, Texas, he became annoyed by Michael's behavior. He shot and killed him near the Oklahoma/Texas border and disposed of his body on Interstate 35. On the day of the abduction, a witness called the police and described a suspicious man with a young boy at an Oklahoma interstate rest area near the Texas border. That fit with Franklin's confession - he claimed that he had buried Michael near the last interstate exit leaving Oklahoma. A search of the area yielded no results. Police suspect that wild hogs may have eaten Michael's remains. Despite the lack of a body, Ernest and Merle have stated that the confession has given them some closure. Officially, this case is now closed.
In 2014, Floyd also finally gave information about "Suzanne" which led to her being identified as Suzanne Marie Sevakis. DNA testing confirmed this. Franklin, then going by the name "Brandon Cleo Williams" had married her mother, Sandi Brandenburg, in 1973; at the time, she had a son and three daughters (including Suzanne) from a previous relationship. In 1975, she was arrested and sentenced to thirty days in jail. During that time, Franklin abducted the children. She was unable to file a missing persons report because he was their stepfather. Suzanne's two sisters were later discovered safe at a local social services office. However, she, Franklin, and her infant brother, Phillip, could not be found.
In 2019, a man named Phillip Steve Patterson came forward, believing that he is Suzanne's missing brother, Phillip Brandenburg. His adoptive mother knew Sandi and claims that she adopted him through Sandi and Floyd. She also claims that his name at birth was "Phillip Steven Brandenburg". In 2020, DNA testing confirmed that he is indeed Suzanne's half-brother, Phillip. Shortly after his birth, he was privately adopted in North Carolina.
- Michael Hughes on Unsolved.com
- Michael Hughes on The Charley Project
- Michael Hughes on the Doe Network
- Michael Hughes on the NCMEC
- Boy, Convict Sought After School Abduction - September 13, 1994
- Gunman abducts son of former live-in lover - September 16, 1994
- FBI hunts for boy in Atlanta - November 13, 1994
- Foster family pleads for boy's return - November 17, 1994
- Foster parents of missing boy say he was like a son - November 17, 1994
- Mystery shrouds life and death of boy's mother - November 19, 1994
- From Jail, Alleged Kidnapper Says Boy Safe in Foreign Land - January 5, 1995
- Floyd Like Father to Boy's Mother, Woman Testifies - April 8, 1995
- Judge Finds Floyd Guilty in Kidnapping - April 11, 1995
- United States vs. Floyd - April 18, 1996
- Police think woman may hold key to slayings - March 27, 1998
- Floyd vs. State - October 12, 2005
- "Crucial Evidence" in Murder Case is Stolen - December 22, 2007
- Solving a Decades-Old Mystery - August 3, 2015
- Finally - Blog by Author Matt Birkbeck - October 3, 2014
- After 20 years of lies, kidnapper admits killing Oklahoma boy - April 12, 2016
- Cold case solved: Man confesses to killing missing Oklahoma boy more than 20 years ago - April 12, 2016
- N.C. Man Waits for DNA Results Putting Him in Wake of Death Row Killer - April 11, 2019
- "A Beautiful Child" - Suzanne's Lost Infant Brother Found
- Michael Hughes on Find a Grave
- Franklin Floyd Inmate Information