Heidi Todd, Missing Charleston Girl, Taken in Home Invasion, Mother Beaten

posted by ABC News 4 - 

THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED FIND THE MOST UP TO DATE INFO HERE

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) - State and federal law enforcement agencies are searching for a missing child in Charleston County, S.C. The missing child is Heidi Renae Todd, 4, of 2985 Sweetleaf Lane, on Johns Island.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has issued a statewide BOLO for the child. Police say the child has sandy brown hair and was last seen wearing a hot pink top and blue pants.

The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Heidi Todd's recovery. Police have set up a 24-hour tip line for citizens to report any information in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call 843-619-6123.

Charleston Police interim chief Jerome Taylor and Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said Wednesday the child's disappearance is related to a home invasion.

Charleston Police say the missing 4-year-old's mother has been taken to a local hospital. Mayor Tecklenburg said Wednesday that the mother was brutally beaten, but is in fair condition.

The mother had four other children, two of whom were in the home at the time, according to Mayor Tecklenburg. The other children were unhurt, police say.

Two of the children's school contacted police when the mother didn't show up to pick the children up from school, according to interim Chief Taylor.

Police say the mother of the child described being attacked by a skinny Hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, with short hair and dressed in all gray.

Police have not released further descriptive details or identifiable traits about a suspect or person of interest in the child's disappearance, citing limited information.

Mayor Tecklenburg says the child's father was away from home for Coast Guard training at the time the incident occurred Tuesday. The father is now back in South Carolina

An Amber Alert has not been issued for Heidi not enough information is available to meet criteri necessary to send one, according to Mayor Tecklenburg.

For SLED to activate an AMBER Alert, police, among other things, must first:

  • Believe the child has been abducted;
  • Believe the child is in immediate danger;
  • Exclude all other possibilities for the victim's disappearance; and
  • Have sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the victim, suspect, or vehicle used in the abduction.

Police first were dispatched to Sweetleaf Lane in the Whitney Lake townhomes community on Johns Island at 5:50 p.m. Tuesday.

A resident in the Whitney Lake neighborhood says Charleston Police came around at the time telling them to look out for a 4-year-old girl named Heidi.

Public safety personnel resumed a full-scale search for the child at daybreak Wednesday, after scaling down their efforts in the early morning hours.

Divers had been searching a lake within the community. Police have set up a command post in one of the model homes in the neighborhood.

St. Johns Fire Department said it was on scene assisting the Charleston Police Department with the search.

Interim Charleston Police chief Jerome Taylor was also on scene.

Sources shared with ABC News 4 videos of helicopters searching a lake in the Johns Island neighborhood.

Neighbors were seen late Tuesday using flashlights to help police and firefighters search the neighborhood.

Charleston officials asked residents to return home Tuesday night so crews could complete their search without interference.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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