Police trying to 'unravel motive' in home invasion, disappearance of J…


Investigators are trying to piece together a home invasion that ended with the disappearance of a four-year-old girl reported missing Tuesday night on Johns Island.

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

“There are many things that we do not know, yet, that we are still investigating, but there’s one thing we know, and that is that Heidi Todd is missing, and we need everyone to be on the lookout for this young lady,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a noon press briefing.

“We’re trying to unravel the entire motive, leaving no stones unturned, trying to determine exactly what occurred,” Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor said. 

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 Taylor described him at the news briefing as an “unwanted guest.” 

Tecklenburg said the mother is in fair condition.

Police say Todd was last seen wearing pink pants and a blue shirt and may be with a Hispanic male described as skinny, between 25 and 30 years old with short hair and dressed in all gray.

Taylor said the description was provided by the victim, who has only been able to provide “limited information” to investigators.

Tecklenburg said they do not know whether Todd may have been taken away in a vehicle.

Todd was taken from her home in the 2900 block of Sweetleaf Lane in the Whitney Lake subdivision on Johns Island. She is 3′ tall, weighs 60 pounds, has brown hair and hazel eyes.

Tecklenburg said there are four other children in the home and said they are safe and sound. Two of them were in the home at the time of invasion, Tecklenburg said. 

The father is a member of the Coast Guard and was out of town on training at the time, Tecklenburg said. He immediately returned to Charleston upon learning of the situation. He is with the mother at the hospital, authorities say.

FBI offers $10,000 reward

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the recovery of a missing 4-year-old Johns Island girl.

“Investigators are trying to determine how long she has been missing,” Francis said. 

Part of Wednesday morning’s search is focused on the lake in front of the home. Two divers entered the…

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