SC toddler found safe in Alabama

Authorities searching for missing 4-year-old Heidi Renae Todd

Authorities searching for missing 4-year-old Heidi Renae Todd

Police Chief Rick Oliver in Riverside, Alabama, made a traffic stop that resulted in the recovery of the little girl on Wednesday.

According to, Todd was found by two Norfolk Southern employees who happened to be working on the railroad tracks and spotted a vehicle parked too close to the train tracks around 4 a wooded area off Highway 78. When approached by police, Evans handed over the girl and sped off, Oliver said.

"We give the glory and our thanks that all prayers have been answered, and that Heidi Todd is safe in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Investigation", said Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said at a news conference Wednesday night where he also said that the girl had been located.

"We anticipate warrants from the state charges, the local charges for kidnapping", 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said at the Wednesday night news conference.

The suspect has been identified as 37-year-old Thomas Lawton Evans, in connection with Todd's kidnapping.

Officials believe Heidi was taken Tuesday and was discovered missing when her mother didn't pick up the family's other children from school.

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Heidi's father, a member of the U.S. Coast Guard, was on a training mission at the time of the incident.

"She really got beat up badly and she needs our moral support", Tecklenburg said.

Charleston Police released a sketch of the man they called a person of interest Wednesday afternoon, almost 24 hours after Heidi Todd was last seen in her Johns Island home. Heid was officially reported missing at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday and a massive search has been underway since then. Inside was a sleeping man and a young girl-who turned out to be 4 years old, but was sitting in the front passenger seat.

Evans' relationship to the Todd family, if there is one, was not clear.

He's scheduled to be arraigned there on charges that he kidnapped his 4-year-old daughter, Heidi Todd, after attacking her mother with a knife and tying her up.

Law enforcement is still trying to determine a motive for the crime. Authorities have not issued an Amber Alert because of a lack of information on a possible suspect.

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