*Authorities in Philadelphia learned that a bank card belonging to Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, the woman who was abducted from a Philadelphia street was used the morning after in Maryland. A bank camera caught a man using the card, but the image was very grainy, according to police.
News of Freeland-Gaither’s abduction spread quickly after a phone call to 911 by a witness claimed they saw a woman, described as Carlesha, being rushed into a gray car. Soon after, police released a black-and-white surveillance video showing the 22-year-old woman flailing in vain as a man rushed her along a sidewalk to a parked car.
Family and friends are overcome with worry and want her back.
Detectives said the security images reveal a man using Carlesha Freeland-Gaither’s card at 6 a.m. Monday at an ATM just off a highway exit for Aberdeen, about 75 miles from Philadelphia. The transaction occurred less than nine hours after the reported abduction Sunday night.
A series of the images were released by Philadelphia police late Tuesday of a man wearing a hoodie, and the pictures that reveal his face are dark and blurry.
Ana Mulero, the girl’s grandmother, told The Associated Press she didn’t recognize the man in the pictures. Freeland-Gaither lived with her grandmother previously in Maryland for several years, before moving in with her boyfriend. She still has acquaintances there, according to Mulero.
Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson says Philadelphia police are working with Maryland authorities and the FBI to search the area; and the FBI is working to enhance the video and offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
This ups the reward by eight thousand more dollars than the previous pledge by local officials.
“Our goal is the safe return of Carlesha to her family and friends,” Christian Zajac, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia office, said at a news conference.
Several of Freeland-Gaither’s relatives also spoke.
“Just return her to us, to her family,” Mulero said. “We need her.”
Freeland-Gaither’s mother, Keisha Gaither, said: “I just want her home. She got family. She’s loved. Just let her come home.”
To her daughter, Gaither said: “Just fight. Don’t give up. Just fight.”
Freeland-Gaither, a nursing assistant at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia worked with cancer patients. She was pursuing a career in nursing, Mulero said.
“I’m very proud of her,” her father, Carl Freeland, said. “She was always there for anybody and everybody no matter what.”
Police said they were unsure if Freeland-Gaither might have known her abductor or whether there was more than one person involved.