Police search for missing 4-year-old girl out of Charleston

Police search for missing 4 year-old near Charleston

The 4-year-old disappeared from her home in Charleston County, S.C. on Tuesday.

Oliver said a railroad crew alerted police after finding a vehicle parked deep into the woods Wednesday near a railroad track on Interstate 20, about 35 miles east of Birmingham.

Oliver said he and the fire chief found a man sleeping inside a auto with 4-year-old Heidi Todd inside. Jessup said the child's alleged abductor, 37-year-old Thomas Lawton Evans, told an officer to hold the child before running to his auto and driving away.

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 abductor, Thomas Lawton Evans, was taken into custody by police and charged with kidnapping.

Heidi was reported missing on Johns Island shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A 4-year-old SC girl reported missing in a abduction case was found by Riverside authorities Wednesday.

Heidi was abducted and taken to Alabama, where she was found safe.

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The mother was found "brutally beaten" but officers did not find Heidi, Tecklenburg said. Interim Police Chief Jerome Taylor said an "unwelcome guest" was at the Todd home, but couldn't characterize the incident as a burglary.

Police setup a 24 hour tip line on Wednesday for citizens to report any information in the case of missing Heidi and a possible person of interest.

Police originally thought the girl might have wandered off and sent divers to search the lake at the center of in the Whitney Lake neighborhood.

Evans' relationship to the Todd family, if there is one, was not clear. "What could have been a day of great tragedy has turned out to be a day of great joy".

The FBI was involved in the investigation and had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Heidi's recovery. The friend reported Heidi missing around 5:50 p.m. February 13.

Law enforcement is still trying to determine a motive for the crime.

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