Marshals will return man accused of kidnapping Johns Island child to S.C. to face charges

Heidi Renae Todd (Source: Charleston Police Department)
Heidi Renae Todd (Source: Charleston Police Department)
Heidi Todd was in police custody Wednesday afternoon. (Source: WIAT)
Heidi Todd was in police custody Wednesday afternoon. (Source: WIAT)

JACKSON, MS - The man accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old Johns Island girl will soon be headed back to South Carolina to face charges.

Thomas Lawton Evans, 37, waived his extradition hearing in a federal courtroom in Jackson, Mississippi Friday afternoon, which means U.S. Marshals will soon escort him back to the Palmetto State to face kidnapping charges.

Evans, who some court records identify as Lawton Thomas Evans, is facing a federal charge of kidnapping involving a person under the age of 18 and was arraigned in federal court.

He will face state charges of kidnapping and more charges could be filed, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said Wednesday night at a news briefing.

Special agents with the FBI and the Charleston Police Department are investigating the case.

An apparent jail record error also listed a federal murder charge against Evans, but FBI spokesman Don Wood said no murder charge was pending.

Police believe Evans took the child from her Johns Island home Tuesday and traveled to Alabama with her.

Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation say the incident started on Tuesday when her mother dropped off two of her children at school and returned to her home.  The mother said when she returned to the house around 8 or 8:30 a.m. she had three of her children with her.  As she was entering her home, she was attacked from behind by a man who had a knife, court records state.

"The attacker pushed her in the home and tackled her to the ground," authorities said.

The attacker then assaulted the mother causing "facial fractures and brain bleeding" among other significant injuries, court documents stated.

According to the FBI, it was during this time that she told her four-year-old daughter to run and hide. The mother said she was then continually assaulted by the man.

Court records state that later in the day police were notified when no one picked up the mother's two children that she had dropped off at school that morning.

Rick Oliver was the law enforcement officer who rescued the child from Evans during an investigation of a vehicle in the woods in Riverside, Alabama.

Copyright 2018 WCSC. All rights reserved.