(PHILADELPHIA) — Police investigating the videotaped abduction of a woman off of a Philadelphia street Sunday night said that they have a surveillance photo of a man who used the woman’s bank card early Monday morning.
Surveillance footage at the bank showed a man wearing dark clothes using the card, but police said they could not be sure if he was the same suspect seen kidnapping 22-year-old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither on Sunday.
At a press conference Tuesday, Freeland-Gaither’s mother pleaded through tears, “Please give me my child back. Please give her back, please give her back, please give her back.”
“If you see me or hear me out there, just know that I love you and we want you to come home,” she said.
Her father Carl Freeland said Tuesday that whoever took his daughter should contact him directly.
“Just release her, we’re not asking for anything else. If you want somebody, come get me,” he said. “Whatever you’re asking for just get into contact with me and my family. All we want back is my daughter.”
A reward totaling $42,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the abduction case. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter approved $10,000 on Monday and another $5,000 was approved by the Fraternal Order of Police Tuesday.
A video recorded the kidnapping and also caught on tape a car that pulled up and stopped, pointing its headlights at the man struggling to get the abducted woman into his car, and then slowly backing away.
Police said Tuesday they have interviewed the driver of the car who came upon the kidnapping.
Freeland-Gaither was grabbed off the street at 9:40 p.m. Sunday while walking in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Video of the attack shows Freeland-Gaither being wrestled down the sidewalk, falling to the ground just outside her assailant’s car and then being forced into his car. As she struggles with her attacker, a dark sedan is seen turning onto the street. The car stops, pauses, and then slowly backs up before the video ends.
Police said that Freeland-Gaither kicked out both the driver and passenger’s side rear windows in her desperate fight against her abductor. Her glasses and cell phone were found on the highway.
Ana Mulero said that her granddaughter stayed with her in rural Maryland from age of 4 to 19 and that she moved back to Philadelphia two years ago because she “missed her mother” and because she wanted to “pursue a career.”
The family told ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia that Freeland-Gaither was working as a nurse and that she was returning from a visit with her godson just a few blocks from home when she was abducted.
Police said they are not sure if Freeland-Gaither knew her kidnapper. While the audio of the surveillance tape was not released, police said she did not say a person’s name during the abduction.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the Philadelphia Police Department’s Northwest Detective Division at 215-686-3353/3354.
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