Nov 5, 2014 7:29 PM

Police: Woman abducted in Philadelphia found safe

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) A woman seen on surveillance video being abducted by a man off a Philadelphia street has been found safe outside Baltimore.

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither was found in Jessup, Maryland, and the man who took her was arrested, police said Wednesday.

"We got a very dangerous predator off the street," police Chief Charles Ramsey said.

Freeland-Gaither had some minor injuries but was generally doing OK, police said.

Her mother thanked police and the community for their support and said she had talked to her by phone.

Freeland-Gaither had been last seen on surveillance video being grabbed by a man and pulled toward a car Sunday night as she struggled to get away in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood.

Police and federal authorities had released a stream of images over the past two days from surveillance cameras in Maryland and from a Philadelphia supermarket hours before the abduction.

The 22-year-old nursing assistant graduated from high school in Maryland and lived with her grandfather in Philadelphia until a couple of months ago, when she moved in with her boyfriend.

Her grandmother Ana Mulero says she has worked with cancer patients and has been pursuing a career in nursing.

Federal agents aiding in the multi-state search for her had released supermarket security video of a man they said was a person of interest.

The video showed a man in a knit cap and dark coat walking down an aisle of a Philadelphia store and using a self-checkout station. A timestamp indicates the video was recorded eight hours before Freeland-Gaither disappeared.

Philadelphia police worked with Maryland authorities and the FBI in the search for Freeland-Gaither.

A witness called 911 at about 9:40 p.m. Sunday and reported seeing a woman identified as Freeland-Gaither screaming for help as she was forced into a dark gray four-door vehicle.

Police said Freeland-Gaither's glasses and cellphone were dropped on the street, near piles of broken auto glass.

The witness said Freeland-Gaither described by her parents as easy going until she's threatened broke the car's rear side windows before the vehicle sped off.

Freeland-Gaither's parents circulated fliers in Germantown. Facebook groups sprung up with prayers for her safe return.


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