The woman kidnapped from a Philadelphia street had moved to the city to find a career and be with her family, who made an impassioned plea for her safe return today.
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The father of Carlesha Freeland-Gaither urged at a news conference today 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,” Carl Freeland said. “Whatever you’re asking for just get into contact with me and my family. All we want back is my daughter.”
The missing woman's sister spoke to Freeland-Gaither through the news cameras.
"If you see me or hear me out there, just know that I love you and we want you to come home," she said.
The woman's mother had trouble speaking through her sobs, but managed to plead, “Please give me back my child. Please me give my baby. I just want my daughter. Please let her go.”
Freeland-Gaither, 22, has been missing since Sunday, when she was kidnapped while walking down a street in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia before 10 p.m. The brazen abduction and her struggle, kicking out the glass of the car window, was caught by a surveillance camera.
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 kidnapping 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.
At the press conference Mulero also told reporters during Freeland-Gaither’s time in Maryland she knew at least one man that Mulero did not approve of. Mulero said when the man came to her home and asked to date her granddaughter she refused her permission.
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 said they had a new lead in the case after discovering that Freeland-Gaither’s ATM card was used at a Maryland bank early this 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 Freeland-Gaither on Sunday.
The reward for information leading to an arrest in the case has risen to $42,000 with $25,000 given by police, $10,000 approved by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and the rest from the Fraternal Order of Police and the Citizens Crime Commission.