CHARLESTON, S.C. - Authorities said they have found a 4-year-old girl who went missing Tuesday during a home invasion in Charleston, South Carolina. Police said she was found safe in Riverside, Alabama.
Heidi Renae Todd was reported missing just before 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Charleston Police Department said her mother was rushed to an area hospital after the school attended by two of her children called the police reporting they did not show up and their mother did not call them in sick.
Reports state the attack happened as the little girl's father was away at Coast Guard training. He has since returned to South Carolina to be with his family.
"She is in the hospital. Apparently, she was brutally beaten and she's in reasonably fair condition under the circumstance and I understand will be undergoing some surgery. She is considered medical to be in fair condition,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
State and federal officials were brought in to assist in the search and a $20,000 was offered up by the FBI and an anonymous donor.
Early Wednesday morning, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has issued a statewide alert for the 4-year-old girl. They were not able to issue an Amber Alert because there was a lack of information on a possible suspect.
Police believe Thomas Lawton Evans, 37, was involved in the incident. Officials said Evans was prior armed robbery and second-degree burglary convictions.
Evans is described by police as a Hispanic man with a stocky build, with short black hair, brown eyes, and was dressed in all gray.
Anyone who sees Evans should call 911 immediately.
The Charleston Police have also established a 24-hour tip line to gather information on sightings of Evans. Anyone with information should call (843) 619-6123.