CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Deputies in Morgan County, Georgia investigated a car theft linked to the kidnapping of a four-year-old Johns Island girl the same day the girl was rescued one state away.
Deputies responded at 5:53 p.m. on Feb. 14 to a reported burglary and car theft in Rutledge, Georgia, according to an incident report. Deputies say the victims told them their home had been broken into and various items had been taken, including a television, electric razor, silver bracelet and various pieces of clothing.
A blue Chevrolet Impala was also reported stolen, the report states. The Chevy had a tracking device that indicated the vehicle was on I-20 in Birmingham, Alabama, traveling west.
Deputies in Georgia also reported a black Honda Civic had been abandoned in woods behind the burglarized home. The Civic was traced to Sharon Hayden in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, the report states. Hayden's car had not been reported stolen, deputies say.
Investigators believe that vehicle was used in the abduction of Heidi Todd from her Johns Island home.
By the time the blue Chevy Impala in Georgia had been discovered missing and deputies were called, Heidi Todd had already been rescued from that vehicle in Riverside, Alabama. The FBI confirmed to Georgia deputies the stolen Impala was the same vehicle from which Todd was rescued, the report states.
Two days before Todd's kidnapping, the suspect in the abduction, Thomas Evans, was stopped by Berkeley County deputies in St. Stephen who were investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle. Deputies said Evans was found walking with a gas can and that he had been driving a black Honda Civic that was traced to Hayden.
Investigators say they want to speak to Hayden because they believe she has information in the case, but say the woman's mother says her daughter is missing. The mother said she does not believe Hayden had anything to do with the kidnapping.
"I really didn't feel that she would be involved in what he did," said Sharon Jowers, Hayden's mother."I'm just worried about where she is and what he might have did with her since she's been missing."
Evans was arrested on Feb. 14 in Mississippi and appeared in a federal courtroom on Feb. 16 in Jackson, Mississippi. He waived an extradition hearing and was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals, who have not yet confirmed whether he has been returned to South Carolina.