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CHARLESTON, SC – A 37-year-old man recently released from prison has been accused of kidnapping and raping a 4-year-old girl after beating and raping the girl’s mother.

On February 13, Brittany Todd was returning home with her 4-year-old daughter after taking two other children to school. What she didn’t know was that she was being watched.

Thomas Lawton Evans Jr., out of prison for only two weeks, had picked her at random and had followed her home.

Evans beat and raped Todd before tying her up and leaving the home with her daughter, Hiedi.

Police did not find the woman until later that evening after her kids’ school called to report she never came to pick up her children. Todd was taken to the hospital suffering from a brain bleed and facial fractures.

The following day, Evans and the girl were discovered in Riverside, Alabama after railroad workers found them both sleeping in a car in the woods near a railroad track.

When police arrived to investigate, Evans handed Hiedi to a police officer and then sped off. The girl was taken to the hospital where it was determined she had been sexually assaulted.

Evans would be apprehended in Mississippi and taken into custody later that evening.

As you can imagine, he is facing a slew of charges including attempted murder, kidnapping, child sexual abuse, transporting a child to engage in sexual activity, armed robbery, and first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Evans is looking at life in prison if convicted, which means he will go back to where he belongs. It’s surprising he was even out, honestly, as he has been in and out of prison for the last two decades.

Evans’ past offenses include sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl in 2000 when he was 19 for which he served no time nor did he have to register as a sex offender.

In 2002 he was convicted of strong-armed robbery after he grabbed a woman in Charleston and tried stealing her purse. He was only sentenced to two years probation.

In 2009 Evans was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he broke into a gas station and stole beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets. An hour later he robbed a second gas station, this time at gunpoint.

As for Brittany and Hiedi, they have both been released from the hospital and are back home. Hiedi’s father released the following statement:

“Thank you to the entire community for the support and love that continues to help my family heal. Several days ago, the world felt like it was falling apart when we were attacked and Heidi was taken. I am grateful to report my wife’s release from the hospital following several surgeries and that we are all together again. Our road to recovery will not be easy after these traumatic experiences, but the prayers and love we have felt these days have been humbling and we greatly appreciate the respect for privacy we asked for and have received.”

But there’s more to the story. The vehicle Evans used in the abduction was traced back to Sharon Hayden, 39, of Spartanburg County, South Carolina. Police say Evans had been driving the car for two days before attacking Todd.

Police went to Hayden’s home but no one answered. According to Hayden’s mother, her daughter is missing.

“I really didn’t feel that she would be involved in what he did,” her mother said. “I’m just worried about where she is and what he might have did with her since she’s been missing.”

Police are asking the public to contact them if they had any contact with Evans in the few days before Feb. 13th. Anyone with information on Hayden’s whereabouts is asked to call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.

 

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