FOUND SAFE: Authorities locate Johns Island child in Alabama


An emotional Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg confirmed Wednesday night that the toddler missing from Johns Island was found safe in Alabama.

Tecklenburg said 4-year-old Heidi Todd was rescued from an abductor in Riverside, Alabama, Wednesday afternoon.

“We give God the glory and our thanks that all our prayers have been answered, and in fact, Heidi Todd is safe in the hands of the FBI,” Tecklenburg said, his voice breaking. “What could have been a day of great tragedy has turned out to be a day of great joy.”

A crowd that had gathered for a vigil for the missing child erupted in cheers as Tecklenburg made the announcement.

He said a police chief in Alabama stopped a suspect and managed to get the girl out of the suspect’s vehicle.

Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson identified the suspect as 37-year-old Thomas Evans who is from the area and was captured in Mississippi following a chase that started in Alabama.

Wilson said Evans will face state charges of kidnapping and that federal charges from the FBI and additional charges will be forthcoming.

Authorities said they do not know whether Evans has any connection to the Todd family.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, police released a sketch of a man considered a person of interest in the disappearance of 4-year-old Heidi Renae Todd and a home invasion that injured her mother. 

Authorities say child’s disappearance followed home invasion

The Charleston Police Department released a sketch of a man in connection with a home invasion and the child’s subsequent disappearance. According to a report released Wednesday afternoon, Todd’s mother was assaulted while attempting to enter her home 2900 block of Sweetleaf Lane in the Whitney Lake subdivision Tuesday. 

Todd was reported missing at 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday, according to Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis.

Police received a call from a school Tuesday afternoon after the mother of a student failed to pick up the child. That call led police to the Todd home where they found the mother “brutally beaten” after an apparent home invasion. 

Authorities have not yet said whether the victim knew the attacker, but Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome…

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