Search is on for Philadelphia woman whose abduction was caught on tape

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Police searching for a 22-year-old Philadelphia woman whose Sunday kidnapping was caught on video by a surveillance camera are now promising $42,000 in reward money for information that leads to the arrest of her kidnapper.

The chilling silent video shows a man stalking a block in the Germantown neighborhood Sunday night before grabbing Carlesha Freeland-Gaither and forcibly dragging her into a gray Ford Taurus.

Freeland-Gaither struggled with her abductor, kicking out the windows of the car she had been thrown into, said police spokeswoman Christine O’Brien. From all accounts it does not appear Freeland-Gaither knew her abductor, she said.


“You can see she is putting up a heck of a struggle,” she said.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson told reporters Tuesday that Freeland-Gaither’s ATM card was used around 6 a.m. Tuesday morning at a bank in Aberdeen, Md., about 76 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

Surveillance footage from the bank shows a man using her card, though police do not know if it is the same man in Sunday’s abduction footage, Wilson said.

“We are actively looking into that area right now,” he said. The 22-year-old’s mother, Keisha Gaither, made a tearful appeal to her daughter’s abductors at the press conference.

“Give me my baby, please give me my child,” Gaither,said. “I just want my daughter. Just please give her back.”

Freeland-Gaither’s grandmother, Ana Mulero, said the young woman had recently moved back to Philadelphia to work as a nursing assistant.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter said the city is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, O’Brien said. The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information in the case.


The local police union is offering $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and the Citizens Crime Commission is offering $2,000.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call detectives at (215) 548-4756.

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