💡 Get Philly smart 💡
with BP’s free daily newsletter

Read the news of the day in less than 10 minutes — not that we’re counting.

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.

YouTube video

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.

YouTube video

Mark Dent is a reporter/curator at BillyPenn. He previously worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he covered the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State football and the Penn State administration. His...