4-year-old Heidi Todd was taken from her SC home on Tuesday after a home invasion and her mother, brutally beaten.
Riverside, Alabama Police Chief Rick Oliver and Fire Chief Timothy Kurzejeski, acting on a tip, found convicted felon Thomas Evans, 37, asleep in a parked auto in a wooded area beside some train tracks, WCVI-TV reported. Alarmed, they called Riverside authorities, and when Police Chief Rick Oliver came upon the scene, something seemed off to him, too: The girl was dressed in adult-sized clothes, reports Al.com-PJs and a hoodie.
According to Riverside Police, they received a call from railroad workers who spotted a auto near the tracks in the woods.
Officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation say the incident started on Tuesday when her mother dropped off two of her children at school and returned to her home.
Heidi Renae Todd was reported missing just before 6 p.m. EST on Tuesday.
Charleston Police Department has a press conference on missing 4 year old Heidi Renae Todd, Feb. 14, 2018 in Johns Island, South Carolina.
Heidi was taken by Kurzejeski back to the fire station where she "watched the Disney channel and requested cookies and chocolate milk".
He said Heidi's father is in the Coast Guard and is a former firefighter.
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Officers and first responders were able to find two of her children but were unable to locate Heidi. "What could have been a day of real tragedy has turned out to be a day of great joy", he said.
"The individual was not invited into the residence", said Interim Charleston Police Chief Jerome Taylor earlier.
As he ran Evans' name through a national database, Evans asked him to hold Todd.
At about 5:50 p.m., Charleston Police conducted a welfare check.
Law enforcement is still trying to determine a motive for the crime.
Because authorities could not be sure of the circumstances of Heidi's disappearance, they could not issue an Amber Alert.
On Wednesday, police searched local lakes and woods but found no trace of the girl.