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Police: Man beat, raped woman before kidnapping 4-year-old daughter

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Authorities say a man raped a woman in her South Carolina home before kidnapping her 4-year-old daughter and driving across three Southern states.

Prosecutors filed new state charges against 37-year-old Thomas Evans Jr., including attempted murder, armed robbery, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of kidnapping.

A grand jury formally indicted Thomas Evans Jr. on charges of kidnapping, child sexual abuse and transporting a child to engage in sexual activity, according to U.S. Attorney Beth Drake. He could face life in prison if convicted.

Authorities say Evans picked the woman at random and followed her after she dropped two of her children off at school to her Charleston home on Feb. 1.

Investigators say the woman was beaten and her head slammed into a hardwood floor several times.

Authorities say her daughter was found safely with Evans in Alabama on Feb. 14, while he fled from police and was arrested in Mississippi after crashing on a dead-end road in following a miles-long police chase.

Evans waived a bond hearing Wednesday. Court records did not list a lawyer.