CAYCE, S.C. (WIS) - The man accused of abducting a 2-year-old girl and a dog after stealing a vehicle from a motel has now been charged by the Cayce Department of Public Safety following his arrest.
Shyheem Phillips, who was arrested around 4 p.m. Wednesday, has been charged with vehicle theft and kidnapping, according to officials.
“I’m proud of our Department,” said Cayce DPS Director Byron Snellgrove. “Our officers acted swiftly, followed every lead and investigated every detail. And I’m grateful for a caring community and the media who shared the information that helped us identify the suspect. We were able to quickly remove the person suspected of these crimes from the streets of Cayce and Lexington County.”
The incident happened around 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, Cayce Public Information Officer Ashley Hunter said.
Authorities said a man stole a car left running, with its door open, outside The Quality Inn at 3020 Charleston Highway. Authorities said the child was in the car with a dog.
Officials were later able to locate 2-year-old Carlee Folk and the dog. Both are safe, officials confirmed early Wednesday morning.
Surveillance video captured the whole thing, showing the little girl’s mother frantically running after the car when she realized what was happening.
An AMBER Alert was activated just after 11 p.m. as officials rushed to find the little girl.
About an hour later, she and the dog were found safe in the stolen car -- but the suspect had taken off.
A WIS News viewer shared a picture and videos of the scene where the car was abandoned at a stop sign, surrounded by a large police presence.
This was just after midnight in Gaston near the corner of Fallaw and Happy Town roads -- about 11 miles from the hotel where the car was stolen.
The grandmother of the little girl told WIS that as soon as she got the amber alert, she got into her car and was on her way to search for the 2-year-old. She said she came up on the intersection of Happy Town Road and Fallow Road and saw the vehicle parked at the stop sign. She said she found her granddaughter in the backseat still asleep and unharmed.
Authorities said Shyheem Malik Phillips has known links to the Gaston area. They said they are working to release more information surrounding his arrest and how investigators were able to locate him.