The Latest: Man suspected in girl’s kidnapping arrested
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a missing 4-year-old South Carolina girl (all times local):
Authorities say the man who kidnapped a 4-year-old girl in South Carolina after beating up her mother has been arrested in Mississippi.
Riverside, Alabama, Police Chief Rick Oliver said 37-year-old Thomas Evans was arrested Wednesday after a police chase in Lauderdale County, Mississippi.
Oliver found Evans sleeping in a car with Heidi Todd in the woods near a railroad track. The chief says Evans handed him the child when he said they needed to go to the police station and sped off in his car.
The chief said at a news conference that the girl was watching cartoons, drinking milk and coloring while she waited to be reunited with her father.
She disappeared Tuesday from her home in Charleston and her mother was found badly beaten.
Evans is charged with kidnapping and more charged are expected. The chief didn’t say if he had a lawyer.
Authorities say a 4-year-old girl who disappeared after her mother was badly beaten in her South Carolina home has been found safe in Alabama.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said the police chief in Riverside, Alabama, saw Heidi Todd inside a vehicle Wednesday afternoon and managed to get her out safely before the driver sped away.
Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson says 37-year-old Thomas Evans is wanted for kidnapping. Authorities did not say why he might have kidnapped the girl.
The girl disappeared from her Johns Island home Tuesday. Tecklenburg says her mother was found badly beaten after she failed to pick up two of her other children from school.
Riverside, Alabama, is on Interstate 20 about 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Birmingham.
Authorities say they want to talk to a man with tattoos of a flame and a lightning bolt on his face about the disappearance of a 4-year-old South Carolina girl.
Charleston Police released a sketch of the man they called a person of interest Wednesday afternoon, nearly 24 hours after Heidi Todd was last seen in her Johns Island home.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says the girl’s mother was found brutally beaten after officers went to the home around 6 p.m. Tuesday because two of her other children weren’t picked up at school.
Tecklenburg says the woman told police she was attacked as she returned home.
The mayor says the man in the drawing was seen in the neighborhood in the days before the girl disappeared.
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information on a 4-year-old girl who disappeared in South Carolina.
The reward was announced during a news conference on Wednesday regarding the case of Heidi Renae Todd.
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg also told reporters that Heidi’s mother was “brutally beaten” and is hospitalized. Interim Police Chief Jerome Taylor said an “unwelcome guest” was at the Todd home, but couldn’t characterize the incident as a burglary.
Taylor said investigators are trying to “unravel . . . the motive.”
Heidi was reported missing on Johns Island shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Officials are looking for a 4-year-old girl who disappeared in South Carolina.
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis told local media that officers are looking for Heidi Todd. She was reported missing on Johns Island shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Officers, firefighters, the Charleston County Rescue Squad and the U.S. Coast Guard searched through the night without success.
Crews searched a pond near her Johns Island home Wednesday morning.
The State Law Enforcement Division has asked law enforcement agencies across the state to look for the girl. Authorities have not issued an Amber Alert because of a lack of information on a possible suspect.
She was last seen wearing pink pants and a blue shirt.