Thomas Evans, Charleston kidnapping suspect, stole getaway car from Georgia farm workers

Thomas Evans getaway cars (WTOK,WCIV)

Authorities believe Thomas Evans, the man accused of kidnapping a 4-year-old Charleston County girl and brutally beating her mother, went on to steal money, a car and more as he made his way through Georgia with the girl the day after abducting her.

Sometime the day of Feb. 14, Georgia deputies believe Evans abandoned a black Honda Civic belonging to his alleged girlfriend in a wooded area along Interstate 20 outside the town of Rutledge, Georgia, which is about an hour east of Atlanta.

The FBI says in arrest affidavits for Evans that he at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 14 tried unsuccessfully to use the debit card of the woman he brutally beat in John's Island at a gas station in Greensboro, Ga., about a half-hour down I-20 from Rutledge.

According to the Morgan County (Ga.) Sheriff's Office, Evans after abandoning the Civic in Rutledge burglarized a nearby home and stole a car parked outside. The car reported stolen was a blue Chevrolet Impala with an Illinois license tag.

When a Riverside, Alabama police chief later found Evans with the girl around 4 p.m. the afternoon of Feb. 14, the policeman says Evans was parked in the woods along a stretch of railroad tracks in a blue Impala with an Illinois plate.

Riverside Police Chief Rick Oliver ultimately rescued the girl during a brief ensuing encounter, but Evans escaped temporarily. He was arrested hours later in Mississippi following a lengthy police chase.

Morgan County deputies say the Impala was reported stolen shortly before 6 p.m., when four seasonal farm workers the car had been loaned to discovered it missing, along with $1,045 in cash and valuables from inside their ransacked temporary home.

The Impala was outfitted with a GPS tracking device by its owner, Illinois-based agricultural staffing agency Professional Ag Resources. Authorities used the GPS to track Evans down later in the evening.

Among the items reported stolen from the migrant workers' home were:

  • a Phillips One Blade electric razor,
  • a silver in color bracelet,
  • two pairs of jeans,
  • two pairs of athletic pants,
  • three T-shirts,
  • a blue Casio G-Shock watch,
  • a white Casio G-Shock watch,
  • a 24 inch Element LED television,
  • Ukrainian currency worth about $10 USD, and
  • approximately $500 USD

Morgan County deputies say they found a kitchen knife outside the Honda Civic where Evans reportedly left the car in the woods. According to the FBI, Evans was armed with a knife when he attacked the Charleston County woman at her home the morning of Feb. 13.

The woman suffered facial fractures and multiple traumas to her face and head, and was hospitalized for nearly two weeks. Charleston Police announced Tuesday, Feb. 27, that the girl was now home recovering.

The Civic abandoned near the farm workers' home is registered to Sharon Hayden, of Boiling Springs, S.C., according to Morgan County deputies.

Hayden's neighbors told ABC News 4 Hayden and Evans were in a relationship, and were together in the two weeks after Evans was released from prison on Feb. 1.

Two separate neighbors said Evans came over to their homes asking to use their phones during those two weeks, both times because Evans said he and Hayden weren't getting along, and was looking for another place to stay.

Both neighbor said Evans was trying to contact someone in the Charleston area, one believing Evans was trying to get in touch with his sister.

Evans was spotted in the Lowcountry by Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Sunday morning, February 11 -- two days before the child was kidnapped from her Johns Island home in Charleston County.

According to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, Evans was spotted on Mendel Rivers Road with Hayden’s black Honda Civic. Deputies say Evans was walking alone looking for gas, and Hayden was not with him.

Both neighbors say law enforcement showed up at Hayden’s home on Feb. 14. Hayden, too, came by that morning, but left when she couldn't get inside the apartment, and hasn't been seen since.

Evans has since been charged with kidnapping by the FBI in a federal case against him. The state prosecutor for Charleston County has charged Evans with several additional crimes in state court, including attempted murder, first degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of kidnapping, first degree burglary, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

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