Missing girlfriend of accused Johns Island kidnapper was denied prison visit

Sharon Hayden in a 2016 mugshot.
Sharon Hayden in a 2016 mugshot.

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The missing girlfriend of a man accused of kidnapping a 4-year old Johns Island girl in February was not allowed to visit him in prison.

Prison visitation records released Wednesday show Sharon Hayden's request to visit Thomas Lawton Evans was denied.

The records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show over a four year period, Evans had 15 visits in prison, 14 of them by a woman listed as a friend.

All of the visits were made at Ridgeland and Allendale Correctional Institutions between 2011 and 2015.

But what stands out is one of the two visits that were denied.

The records show that Evans' missing girlfriend Sharon Hayden filed an application to visit him, but was denied.

Officials say they cannot tell us why Hayden wasn't allowed to see him.

Evans was stopped in Hayden's car in Berkeley County two days before the kidnapping of the 4-year-old on Johns Island. He told deputies he had run out of gas.

Authorities in Spartanburg County did a welfare check at Hayden's home in Boiling Springs but no one was there. She is still missing and the FBI is involved in the search for her.

Evans is facing both state and federal charges for kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault.

A status conference in the federal case is scheduled for Thursday morning.

The jury in the federal trial is scheduled to be selected in July.

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