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  1. #1

    SC - Savanna Todd, 11 mos, Isle of Palms, 24 April 1994


    Missing Since: April 24, 1994 from Isle of Palms, South Carolina
    Classification: Family Abduction
    Date of Birth: May 6, 1993
    Age: 11 months old
    Height and Weight: 2'5 - 3'0, 20 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Sandy blonde to brown hair, hazel eyes. Savanna has a small birthmark near the upper left side of her navel. She may use the alias Savannah Lee Barnett. Some agencies spell her name "Savannah" or refer to her as Savanna Lee Todd.

    Details of Disappearance

    Savanna was last seen in Isle of Palms, South Carolina on April 24, 1994. Her father, Benjamin Harris Todd III, who goes by his middle name, Harris, has custody of her. She was abducted by her mother, Dorothy Lee Barnett, on what was supposed to be only a weekend-long supervised visitation. She convinced the supervisor to allow her to take Savanna to a birthday party unescorted, and they never returned. A photograph and vital statistics for Barnett are posted below this case summary. A Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant was issued for her on April 28, 1994. There are also felony warrants out for her arrest on charges of child stealing and custodial interference.

    Harris met Barnett in 1987 and they married in 1991. Harris stated that Barnett was frequently violent towards him during their marriage and once tried to kill their dog. In 1993 they separated; when filing for divorce in March of that year, Barnett alleged desertion and Harris physical cruelty.

    Barnett was pregnant with Savanna at the time the divorce proceedings started. Harris sought sole custody of the baby after he realized Barnett had bipolar disorder and refusing to seek treatment or take medication to control the illness. He offered to settle for joint custody if Barnett agreed to get psychiatric treatment, but she refused. Harris hired private detectives who presented evidence to the family court judge that Barnett drank heavily while breastfeeding and had numerous sexual affairs. Barnett had several outbursts in court during the custody proceedings and the judge ordered that an armed bailiff be present. The judge eventually gave sole custody of Savanna to Harris, and Barnett was allowed two supervised visits a month. Two months later, Barnett abducted the child.

    Savanna and Barnett were assisted in their flight by Children of the Underground, an organization which helps hide mothers and children who claim to have been abused. Barnett never accused Harris of abusing Savanna in any way, however. Faye Yager, a major associate of the group, admitted that she helped hide them not because of any abuse but because, she claimed, Harris is a homosexual. He denies this. Yager offered to help Harris find Barnett and Savanna if he would agree to let Barnett have custody and pay child support. He refused because he did not believe Yager could help him.

    Barnett and Savanna may be in Richardson, Texas; Houston, Texas; Australia; South Africa; Switzerland; Belize; Mexico; or elsewhere in Latin America. Barnett's family has a home in Belize and she once lived there, and a map of South America was found in her home after she abducted her child. There have been several sightings of Barnett since 1994 and she has always been alone, without a child with her. None of the sightings have been confirmed.

    Savanna's case is unsolved. Texas authorites are assisting with the investigation.


    Above Image: Dorothy Lee Barnett
    Date of Birth: May 27, 1960
    Age: 33 years old
    Height and Weight: 5'4, 100 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Barnett has experience as an international flight attendant. She is described as an outgoing, talkative person. She may use the aliases Lee Barnett and/or Lee Barnett Todd. Barnett has a Caesarean section scar on her abdomen. She grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida and attended Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. She is interested in veterinary science and enjoys going to yacht and tennis clubs and expensive bars. She is also attracted to wealthy men. Barnett may be working in the airline industry; she previously worked as a flight attendant with USAir.
    Medical Conditions: Barnett has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She may have episodes of extreme paranoia, nervousness, and violence as a result.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Federal Bureau Of Investigation
    South Carolina Office
    843-722-0135
    OR
    Texas Department of Public Safety

    800-346-3243

  2. #2
    Thank you to WS member SpongeBathHotPants for the article!

    Isle of Palms girl missing since 1994 found in Australia; mother charged

    A girl missing since 1994 has been found and an indictment has been unsealed against the girl's mother.

    According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 53-year-old Dorothy Lee Barnett, of Queensland, Australia, has been charged with one count of international parental kidnapping and two statements of false statement in a passport application.

    [snip]

    U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Todd, now an adult, was found safe and living an otherwise normal and healthy life.

    http://www.abcnews4.com/story/240371...mother-charged

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up Savanna Harris Todd of South Carolina

    I found this earlier. What struck me about this is that the age progressed photo and her actual photo is remarkably similar. The artists that do this are awesome.



    Savanna Harris Todd was allegedly kidnapped by her mom, Dorothy Lee Barnett, in April of 1994 from South Carolina when she was 11-months-old. The mother and daughter have been located in Queensland, Australia, after almost 20 years. They allegedly lived under several aliases in South Africa and New Zealand. The mother is facing federal charges and is expected to be extradited back to the U.S. Savanna's father, Benjamin Harris Todd, never stopped searching for her.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...st_read_module
    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/t/todd_savanna.html
    Attached Images Attached Images
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  4. #4
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    Wow - that age progression picture is incredibly close to how she looks now. And they did that from a tiny baby! Very impressive.

    Glad Savanna is alive and well.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by graceholl View Post
    Wow - that age progression picture is incredibly close to how she looks now. And they did that from a tiny baby! Very impressive.

    Glad Savanna is alive and well.

    Not bad at all. The age progression is to age 16. Savanna is 20 now. Age progressions have come such a long way!


  6. #6
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    Savanna, now 20, who has been living under the name Samantha, was by her mothers side during a court appearance on Wednesday, where Barnett was denied bail.

    According to The Australian, Savanna - who has been studying nursing at a Queensland university - held up a sign during the hearing saying 'We love you Mom'.

    Barnett, who 'winked' back at her daughter, was supported by over two dozen people, some of whom had sworn affidavits attesting to her good character.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...st_read_module


    This poor father...

  7. #7
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    I just caught this on a news site and came over to see if I could read a back story. Very interesting and can't wait to find out more.

  8. #8
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    Looks like Savanna is healthy and happy after all these years.

  9. #9
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    I just can't win. Oy. Oh well. Glad she's safe. I'm sure if I ever go missing again, everyone here will know before I know.
    "When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

  10. #10
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    I was so excited to see Savanna had been located!
    I live about an hour from Isle of Palms and I have kept up with this case over the years. Her father must be elated to finally know where she is.


  11. #11
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    I hope Yager was held accountable for her part in a custody matter!

    *All posts are my opinion only, and only my opinion.*

    mama to 12 / adoptive parent educator



  12. #12
    LadyL's Avatar
    LadyL is offline Sleuthing for Lonzie Barton & All Victims.
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    wow, wonder what she alleges her reasons are for doing it ...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadyL View Post
    wow, wonder what she alleges her reasons are for doing it ...
    Well, it wasn't because the father was abusive. Even Faye Yager admitted he wasn't.

  14. #14
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    Here's an article from after she was taken. Note the admission that Todd was never abusive.
    http://www.dartcentre.org/content/ch...-underground-7

    This is a more recent one that details mom's behavior. http://www.abcnews4.com/story/240463...avanna-in-1994

  15. #15
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    Well now I am totally freaked out
    Im looking for something today on Google regarding highway murders in Ohio - which leads to - the gardening shows in chelsea - then, to Paris Hilton dot com - then to South Carolina missing ... you know how Google is (I hope)...
    and I come across this baby's face here:
    South Carolina Missing Persons
    and think 'WOW - wonder where this poor child is'.... keep scrolling ...

    Only 20 clicks later to press this article and see this ...
    Taken US child found safe in Australia

    I had to go back and retrace my steps - and then come here (of course )

    Glad that's she is safe and well - and hats off to the age progression artists - fine job indeed!

    .

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