by: Claudia Rivero
The amazing story of 22-year-old Carlesha Freeland-Gaither is a perfect example of how important the public is when it comes to solving crimes. Carlesha was violently kidnapped Sunday night in the Germantown section of Philadelphia; surveillance cameras captured every chilling moment of the attack. Within hours Philly detectives, with help from the FBI, were able to track down additional surveillance videos of the alleged kidnapper---including videos of him using the victim’s bank card at an ATM and at a convenience store in Aberdeen, Maryland. According to authorities, as soon as they released the videos to the media, tips from the public started pouring in.
Late Wednesday evening Philadelphia PD announced that ATF agents had rescued Carlesha and arrested her alleged kidnapper. Both were found inside the suspect's car parked in a shopping center in Jessup, Maryland. Police identified the suspect as 37-year-old Delven Barnes, a fugitive with an outstanding warrant for attempted capital murder in Virginia.
At a news conference outside Northwest Detectives in Philadelphia, Ed Hanko, the special agent in charge of the Philadelphia FBI field office, told reporters that thanks to tips from the public, they were able to identify Barnes and track his vehicle to the location in Maryland.
Thanks to the amazing work by U.S. Marshals, the ATF, the FBI, and especially Philadelphia detectives who were out there working 24/7 with the media and asking for the public’s help, this 70 hour nightmare is over and Carlesha will be reunited with her family. Her mother, Keisha Gaither, told reporters during a news conference: “I’m taking my baby home.”
Any small tip can crack a case wide open. All it takes is a phone call and the courage to come forward.
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Emmy Award winning reporter Claudia Rivero.