Johns Island parents sue law enforcement over daughter’s 2018 kidnapping

Published: Feb. 3, 2020 at 5:47 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman who was brutally beaten inside her Johns Island home before her then 4-year-old girl was kidnapped and taken across state lines has sued multiple law enforcement agencies claiming they could have done more to catch the convicted kidnapper before it happened.

In the lawsuit filed last Friday in Charleston County, Brittany Todd and her husband claim five different South Carolina law enforcement agencies were all negligent and should have been able to catch Thomas Evans before the crime happened.

Prosecutors said Evans attacked Brittany Todd on Feb. 13, 2018, as she returned home with three of her children after dropping off two of her children at school.

Investigators say Evans attacked her from behind with a knife, pushed her into the home and tackled her to the ground before physically assaulting her and causing significant injuries that included facial fractures and brain bleeding.

Thomas Evans is currently serving four life sentences.
Thomas Evans is currently serving four life sentences.(CCSO)

Later that same day, school officials called police when the woman did not return to the school to pick up her children and the school could not reach her.

Investigators began a massive search for the missing child which ended the next day when the 4-year-old was found safe in Alabama and Evans’ was arrested in Mississippi after a short chase.

Todd is seeking a judgment from each department for actual damages. Her claims include more than $377,000 in medical bills for herself and more than $7,000 in medical bills for her daughter.

Evans had recently been released from prison on an armed robbery charge prior to beating Todd and kidnapping her daughter. She claims the Department of Corrections failed to provide Evans with appropriate mental health or addiction treatment before he was released.

The lawsuit also states Evans didn’t report to the Department of Probation and Parole within 24 hours of his release from jail and the department didn’t take steps to obtain a warrant for him.

Two days before the kidnapping Evans showed up in St. Stephen in his girlfriend’s car. The owner of the vehicle, 39-year old Sharon Hayden, could not be located at her Spartanburg County home and hasn’t been seen since.

Both Hayden’s mother and daughter have gone public with pleas to try and find her.

Todd claims in the lawsuit that the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office didn’t investigate Hayden’s disappearance properly and didn’t list her as a missing person and Evans was not listed as a person of interest, the suit stated.

Authorities later released the Berkeley County 911 call involving a concerned citizen about a man later determined to be Evans and the suspicious vehicle, which belonged to Hayden, out near a road in St. Stephen that morning.

Berkeley County deputies said they ran Evans’ information through dispatch but learned his license was suspended. Evans told deputies he would have his brother come pick up the car.

He was not arrested for driving under suspension because the law requires that deputies see him driving to make such an arrest.

After confirming his information was clear and that he had no stolen items in his possession, deputies allowed him to go, according to an incident report.

She also claims the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office didn’t properly investigate Evans and didn’t hold him for questioning.

The lawsuit also states the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office stopped Evans, but didn’t hold him for questioning even though he didn’t have identification, was trying to use non-functioning credit cards, was drunk and was driving a car owned by someone else.

Evans was sentenced to three life sentences in federal court for the crime and then given another on the state charges last October.

According to federal prison records, Evans is currently serving his time at a federal prison in Arizona.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.