#FindCarlesha: What we know so far about the Germantown abduction, Carlesha Freeland-Gaither and her captor

Carlesha+FBI+Billboard

Update Wednesday 6:35 p.m.: Carlesha Freeland-Gaither was found safe in Maryland and a suspect is in custody.

The abduction

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither was kidnapped at the corner of W. Coulter and Greene Streets in Germantown on Sunday night. She struggled for a few moments, losing her cell phone and glasses. She was then pulled into a gray 2000-2002 Ford Taurus with Pennsylvania plates. Freeland-Gaither kicked the rear windows out of the car, according to police. After her abduction, another car pulled down the street and then backed away after a few moments. Police have said the driver of that second car has been identified and questioned.

Where the suspect has gone since the abduction

A “person of interest” was spotted Monday using Freeland-Gaither’s bank card at an ATM in Maryland.

On Wednesday, police said evidence tied to that person was found in Havre de Grace, Md. The evidence includes a receipt from Acme in Rhawnhurst,  a broken key chain and an empty Herr’s potato chip bag.

The suspect

Police have not been able to identify the suspect yet. He has been described as a 5-10 black man with a medium build who was wearing  a dark jacket, dark hat and dark pants.

Though police have said her abduction appears to be random, Freeland-Gaither’s family said the suspect could be a man who had been obsessed with her when she attended high school in Maryland.

Keisha Freeland, her mother, said to 6ABC: “He was very aggressive with her. He would ask her for pictures. She didn’t want to send pictures. He would harass her. He wanted naked pictures. She would not send it. She’s a young lady. She would not degrade herself and send naked pictures. He was pressuring her all the time for pictures.”

$47,000 is being offered as a reward for helping with his arrest.

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither

Freeland-Gaither has lived in Philadelphia for the last two years after having previously lived in Maryland. She works in Philadelphia as a nurse and had been visiting a godson before her abduction on Sunday. The FBI is now featuring her information on digital billboards throughout the region. 

Two surveillance images have been released

This is the suspect at a Philadelphia food store from Nov. 2, the day of the kidnapping

This is the subject at a store in Philadelphia on November 3, after the kidnapping.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Sign up for our morning update, the quick, easy, free way to stay on top of Philly news.

Thanks for reading Billy Penn

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by our members. If you enjoy reading, throw us a bone! Just $5/month makes more difference than you’d think.

Thanks for reading! We need you.

Member donations power our newsroom. If Billy Penn helps you feel more connected to Philly, we’d love to count you in. Will you join us?

Lock in your support

Reader support powers our newsroom. A monthly membership helps lock it in.

Can we count on you as a Billy Penn sustainer?

Winning the local journalism game

Thank you: Your support as a member is powering our news gathering.

Know someone else who might like our work? Invite them to join.