Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, a 22-year-old nursing assistant who was violently abducted on a Philadelphia street on Sunday, has been found alive in Maryland.
Local and federal law enforcement officials said at a news conference Wednesday night that Freeland-Gaither was found in a parked car in Jessup, Md. — “in good shape” but with “some injuries” — and that her suspected kidnapper has been arrested.
The man, 37-year-old Delven Barnes, is being held on an outstanding warrant for capital murder and other crimes; officials said they plan to bring federal charges against him in the abduction of Freeland-Gaither.
Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey called Barnes “a vicious predator” and said “hopefully, he’ll be in jail for the rest of his life. That’s the only thing he deserves.” He added: “He’s a thug and this is what he does, apparently.”
Ramsey said it was “very special” to find Freeland-Gaither alive.
“I’m taking my baby home!” her mother, Keisha Gaither, said at the news conference.
Freeland-Gaither was forced into a car on Sunday night, in a terrifying incident captured on video by a security camera. A witness told investigators that Freeland-Gaither, who lost her cellphone and her glasses in the struggle, screamed for help during the abduction on a Philadelphia street.
Her bank card later was used in Aberdeen, near the Maryland-Delaware border; investigators also released a video that showed a man described as a person of interest in a Maryland convenience store.
More than $40,000 was offered as a reward for information in the case.
On Wednesday night, a team of law enforcement agents including U.S. marshals, ATF agents, and FBI agents based in Baltimore located Freeland-Gaither and Barnes in a vehicle parked on the side of a road in Jessup, in Howard County.
Source: Washington Post