Heidi Todd was recovered from the alleged kidnapper after being missing for 24 hours
A 4-year-old girl who disappeared from her South Carolina home where her mother was found badly beaten has been found safe a day later in Alabama, authorities said.
The South Carolina tot was abducted during a home invasion,on Tuesday.
Heidi Todd was snatched amid a break-in Tuesday at a Johns Island home that left her mom “brutally” beaten, news station WCIV reported. Her father was at US Coast Guard training when the home invasion occurred, authorities said.
The mom, who was transported to a hospital, told police the attacker was a thin Hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, with short hair. An Amber Alert was not issued due to lack of information regarding the suspect, according to officials.
Police said the missing tot is one of four kids, two of whom were home at the time of the incident. Her siblings were reportedly unharmed.
Police are hunting for the kidnap suspect, Thomas Lawton Evans
The police chief in Riverside, Alabama, found Heidi Todd inside a vehicle Wednesday afternoon and managed to get her out safely before the driver sped off. Police are now looking for the driver, Thomas Evans, 37, who has been charged with kidnapping, said prosecutor Scarlett Wilson, who expects more charges to be filed.
Officers went to the girl’s home on Johns Island around 6 p.m. Tuesday after two of her siblings had not been picked up at school, where they discovered mom who said she was attacked as she returned home, but investigators don’t know exactly when that was or where she had gone, police said.
Investigators have not found any connection between Evans and the girl’s family and they haven’t figured out a motive for the kidnapping.
Authorities said Heidi’s dad was on a plane to reunite with his daughter in Riverside, Alabama, about 35 miles east of Birmingham, authorities said.
“I saw a picture of her with a happy, smiling face,” Tecklenburg said.
The girl’s mother remains in the hospital and underwent surgery Wednesday, the mayor said.
Thomas Evans grabbed 4-year-old Heidi Todd after brutally beating her mom in the family home in John’s Island SC, Tuesday
Authorities spent the past 24 hours looking for Heidi, searching nearby ponds and flying over Charleston in helicopters. Local residents who came to Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburgmayor’s news conference for updates on Wednesday night, cheered and clapped when he said Heidi was safe.
“What could have been a day of great tragedy has really been a day of joy,” Tecklenburg said.