4 charged with kidnapping toddler girl and attacking her mom


LIBERTY, S.C. (WSPA/AP) – Four people are under arrest in Pickens County after deputies say they attacked a mother near her driveway and abducted her toddler last week.

Chief Deputy Creed Hashe said Friday that arrest warrants say the kidnapping was planned in a jailhouse phone call. The incident was reported around 9 p.m. Tuesday at a home on Sherri Lane in Liberty.

Deputies say four people in two cars attacked the mother with her small child — and a neighbor who tried to help her. Witnesses say the four people took the child and left the area in the cars.

The neighbor who tried to help suffered a deep cut on the right arm that required 25 stitches. The mother had wounds on her hips, head and ribs.

The child was found unharmed later at the home of the father in Pickens County. That child has been in the care of the Department of Social Services since the incident.

Pickens County Sheriff’s Office investigators announced a kidnapping charge Friday morning against four people involved.

The Independent Mail of Anderson reports the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office identified the four as the girl’s paternal grandmother, her boyfriend, another friend and her son.

Stephanie Lynn Hopkins, 39, is also charged with conspiracy to kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery. Steven Keith Trotter, 37, is also charged with conspiracy to kidnapping an assault and battery. Ethan Chantz Esuary, 20, faces an additional charge of assault and battery. Bridget Renee Esuary, 40, is also facing an assault and battery charge.

All four were arrested without incident and were booked at the Pickens County sheriff’s Office just after midnight Thursday. No other arrests are expected according to deputies.

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