Heidi Todd, a missing 4-year-old girl from Charleston County, South Carolina, has been found alive not far from Birmingham, Alabama. According to WCIV, the man who allegedly kidnapped her initially got away, but he was arrested after a brief car chase.
Thomas Lawton Evans, 37, is accused of abducting Todd after beating up the girl’s mom as she was walking into her home. The child was missing for over 24 hours. On Wednesday, she was discovered and recovered after two men working on a railroad spotted a suspicious car, containing a sleeping man and a little girl, and reported it.
Riverside Fire Chief Tim Kurzejeski and Riverside Police Chief Rick Oliver knocked on the window of the car and told Evans to get out. Oliver described Evans as nervous, according to AL.com.
As he ran Evans’ name through a national database, Evans asked him to hold Todd.
"I knew he was going run,'' Oliver said, adding that he smelled alcohol on the suspect’s breath. "I just had that feeling."
Evans then led police into Mississippi (located not far away) before he was captured.
The suspect has a history with police. In 2009, Evans was arrested and later convicted of armed robbery, ABC News 4 reported. He was just released from prison for that conviction earlier this month. It’s unclear if Evans has a lawyer at this time.
Kurzejeski said that he took Todd back to the fire station where she watched the Disney channel and asked for cookies and chocolate milk.
"I told my wife I got a little head start on what it's like to be a grandparent because that little girl was going to get whatever she wanted,'' he said. "She was just a super trooper."
Tood was checked out at a local hospital, and her father is reportedly on his way from South Carolina to Alabama to pick her up. Todd's mother was in "reasonably fair condition" after the beating and was expected to undergo surgery, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
[Photo: Charleston Police Department, Charleston County Detention Center]