4-year-old girl kidnapped from South Carolina found safe in St. Clair County, reunited with family


02/15 UPDATE:

Heidi Todd has been reunited with her family, our fellow Nexstar station WCBD confirms. 


A girl who was reportedly kidnapped from South Carolina has been found safe and sound in St. Clair County, according to Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup. 

Heidi Todd, 4, was taken from her Johns Island home in Charleston County after her mother was brutally beaten and hospitalized on Tuesday, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told CBS News. Todd is currently at the city’s fire department awaiting her parents, according to Jessup.

According to Riverside Police, they received a call from railroad workers who spotted a car near the tracks in the woods. The chief arrived, and initiated a conversation with the driver who explained that they were coming from South Carolina.

The chief explained that he smelled alcohol, and noticed that the girl in the car, Todd was nervous and wearing clothes that were much larger than her size. 

Railroad workers took pictures of the chief with the suspect which were later used to capture him, and the suspect reportedly gave the chief Todd, and then fled.

Initially, the chief said that he did not recognize Todd as a missing girl, but they returned to the firehouse with the girl, where they gave her snacks, a coloring book, chocolate milk and had her watching cartoons as she relaxed.

The suspect, 37-year-old Thomas Lawton Evans, was later captured just across the Mississippi border. Evans reportedly told the chief that he had been released from jail in South Carolina on Feb. 1. When he was arrested, he was driving a car that he had stolen in Georgia, according to the chief.

DHR arrived around 7:34 p.m. and took Todd away from the Riverside firehouse. Her father is flying from South Carolina tonight to get his daughter.

CBS 42 will bring you more information as it becomes available. 

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