Two days after a Philadelphia woman’s abduction was captured on video, police say they have a lead across the state line: Someone used her bank card Tuesday morning in Maryland.
A male used Carlesha Freeland-Gaither’s ATM card at 6:01 a.m. a bank in Aberdeen, Md., and, about a 75-mile drive southwest from the Philadelphia street where she was forced into a car on Sunday night, Philadelphia police Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson told reporters.
Wilson didn’t say how the card was used or whether cash was withdrawn. But he said surveillance video showed a male “similar” to the man who police say dragged and abducted the 22-year-old woman Sunday night.
News of that lead came shortly before Freeland-Gaither’s family publicly pleaded with whoever took her.
“Please return her. We just want Carlesha returned to us safely,” her grandmother Ana Mulero said at a news conference with Wilson in Philadelphia. “Just return her to us. We’re her family. She has a family here. We need her.”
Police didn’t immediately release the bank video. But authorities earlier released a video that they say shows Freeland-Gaither being accosted by an unknown man in Philadelphia’s Germantown-Penn Knox area around 9:40 p.m. on Sunday.
The released footage doesn’t include audio, but a witness reported that Freeland-Gaither yelled for help, police said.
The video shows Freeland-Gaither tussling on the ground with her abductor and being forced into a four-door vehicle, which police say may be a gray Ford Taurus.
Her glasses and cell phone were dropped onto the road during the struggle. Just before the vehicle pulled away, Freeland-Gaither broke out one of the passenger side windows, police said.
Police described the abductor as an unknown black man of medium-heavy build, 25 to 30 years old. The video shows him wearing a dark jacket with a hood, a dark hat and dark pants.
Freeland-Gaither’s family told CNN affiliate WPVI that she worked as a nurse and was just blocks from her home when she was abducted.
Investigators aren’t sure whether she knew her abductor, though there’s no indication on the Philadelphia surveillance video that she did, Wilson said. Police haven’t publicly talked about a possible motive.
Authorities initially said the abductor’s car had a Pennsylvania license plate, but Wilson said Tuesday that investigators are looking into whether a Maryland plate was on the car’s front. The plate isn’t readily legible in the video, and police said no witness gave them a plate number.
Mulero said her granddaughter lived with her for four years in Maryland before Freeland-Gaither returned to Philadelphia to be with other relatives and pursue a career.
Officials are offering rewards of $42,000 for information leading to the case’s resolution, including $25,000 from the FBI, which is assisting in the investigation, Wilson said.