Woman Abducted on Philadelphia Street Found Alive; ‘Dangerous Predator’ Arrested

NBC 10 Screenshot
NBC 10 Screenshot

The 22-year-old woman who was abducted Sunday in Philadelphia as she walked home from visiting her godson was found safe less than 72 hours after she was taken, and the man who police said took her has been arrested.


According to NBC 10, surveillance video captured the nighttime abduction of Carlesha Freeland-Gaither. Freeland-Gaither fought her attacker so strongly that she kicked out the back window of the car as it drove off.

On Wednesday evening, police found the car—with the broken back window—along with Freeland-Gaither and Delvin Barnes, the man police say abducted her, at a Jessup, Md., shopping-center parking lot.

Police told the news station that Barnes, 37, was in the backseat with Freeland-Gaither when they approached the vehicle. When Barnes noticed police approaching, he tried to get back up front to drive off. Police stopped him and arrested him.

Agent Tim Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives told NBC 10 that Freeland-Gaither screamed for help as the arrest was taking place. She told police that she was the woman taken from Philadelphia.

“Once she had time to process what had happened, you could tell she was emotionally distraught,” Jones told NBC 10.

According to authorities, Freeland-Gaither, a nursing assistant who recently began living with her boyfriend, suffered some injuries but was well overall. Police also said the attack was random because they do not believe that Freeland-Gaither and Barnes, who used to live in Philadelphia, knew each other.


After surveillance images of the abduction were aired in news reports, ATF agents in Richmond, Va., received a tip that Barnes might have committed the crime.

Police found Barnes by using a tracking device placed inside his gray Ford Tarus by the dealership that sold him the vehicle. The dealership put the device in the vehicle because Barnes had bad credit at the time of purchase. The GPS device is used to make vehicle repossession easier for car dealers. Police tracked the vehicle to the parking lot in Jessup.


“We got a very dangerous predator off the street,” Philadelphia police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

“It's very special for all of us,” Ramsey said. “You hope, you hope, you hope, but you don’t really know until you’re actually able to get her and make sure she’s OK. So it’s very important that this has a happy ending."


Read more at the NBC 10.