It's been a year since I first mentioned a potential break in the search for Sharon's identity. Local and federal law enforcement have been involved, but to date there's been no significant movement or progress. So, here's what's been happening.
Police near Knoxville, TN received a call from a woman who said she knew Franklin Floyd when she was a child in the early 1970s, and that Floyd and his brother Billy had visited her father, who was a serial rapist and pedophile. Floyd was on the run (you'll recall he violated his parole in early 1973) and sought refuge with this woman's father. Around the same time, the body of Janet Carter was found in the Smokey Mountains and her three-year old daughter Christina was missing. Janet was from Birmingham and was in the midst of a custody battle with her husband when she fled. The woman claims that her father killed Janet and took Christina, whom he repeatedly raped before killing her and burying her body underneath his home.
Around the same time, Floyd and his brother were staying nearby, and the woman said she would be taken there every weekend, where Floyd would rape her. The woman remembers another little girl, a cousin, who was also repeatedly raped by her father. The cousin, said the woman, is Sharon.
The woman said her father was going to kill Sharon, but Floyd apparently fled wth her.
The woman told her story to the local police, who called in the local FBI. Their interest was minimal. After six months, and with little progress, I connected the local police to Joe Fitzpatrick, and over the past few months the woman has been interviewed several times by an outside FBI bureau. There are other details that can't be released yet.
The woman says she never read A Beautiful Child, and her memories are real. I thought enough of her and her story to pass it along. The bit about Floyd "rescuing" the girl from the woman's father is similar to what Floyd told me when I interviewed him, that he saved the girl from certain death. The woman's father is still alive, and last I heard police were going to interview him. Will keep you posted.
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