A decade has passed since Colton Clark went missing. His aunt and uncle, James Rex Clark and Rebecca Faith Clark, long claimed the 9-year-old boy had run away to parts unknown. The case went cold until Colton’s older brother, who now goes by the name TJ Sloan, came forward and accused his aunt and uncle of beating his brother to death.
Colton Clark and Sloan’s own parents battled drug addiction, which led to them being fostered by the Clarks. Sloan told the court that they both loved living on the Clarks’ farm, but that something changed when the Clarks formally adopted the boys. The Clarks removed them from public school and began physically abusing them, using hands, belts, sticks and even a cattle prod to beat them. Sloan showed the court photos of scarring on his buttocks, which he said were from the brutal beatings he endured as a boy. He also said that Rex Clark forced them to write sexual fantasies in diaries, then accused them of being sexual deviants.
Sloan said the last time he saw his little brother was in March of 2006. He said that the Clarks blamed Colton for a missing turquoise ring, which they believed he had stolen. He said he heard his brother’s cries in another room as he did the dishes in the kitchen. Later, Sloan testified he saw his brother with a black and blue face, lying on a couch in another room in front of the television. Sloan said that the last time he would ever see Colton.
In the days that followed, Sloan said that Rex Clark kicked him in the stomach and threatened him when he suggested that they should report Colton missing. He was also forced to lie about his brother’s whereabouts to a DHS worker who came to check up on the family. By the time the Clarks did report Colton missing, they were asserting that the little boy had run away.
A decade went by. Sloan was placed in foster care and later adopted by a man who Sloan now regards as his father. Sloan, now 23, lives in Tennessee, but said he saw an article about his brother’s case in 2015 and decided that he was no longer scared of Clarks and would come forward.
The defense attempted to argue that Sloan was a liar, pointing out that Colton’s body, if he was indeed dead, had never been found. However, the jury elected to convict the Clarks of murder and recommended life sentences for both of them.
Featured Image: Seminole County Jail