Kidnapping ‘person of interest’ stares at surveillance camera in new footage

Police are seeking public assistance in identifying a person of interest linked to the abduction of a Germantown woman Sunday night.

Newly released footage taken on the day of the kidnapping but hours before the actual abduction shows the male person of interest walk into a grocery store with a hand partially covering his face. He then staresdirectly at a surveillance camera before going in the store and buying a bag of chips.

Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, 22, was abducted around 9:30 p.m. on the evening of Nov. 2 after getting off a SEPTA bus.

At a press conference Tuesday, police said that Freeland-Gaither’s ATM card was used in Aberdeen, Maryland, and released surveillance stills from the ATM of the “person of interest” believed to be linked to Freeland-Gaither’s disappearance.

The person of interest has not been identified. Authorities are also not revealing when or where the latest surveillance images were recorded.

Surveillance footage of the abductionshows Freeland-Gaither struggle with her abductor as he drags her into his vehicle. Police said she smashed the front and rear passenger side windows before being driven off.

The suspect is described as a black male aged 25 to 30, about 5’10” with a medium-heavy build and driving a four-door metallic gray 2000-2002 Ford Taurus with a PA tag.

Anyone with any information about the person of interest’s identity or whereabouts is being asked to call the PPD/FBI Violent Crimes Task Force at 215-418-4000.

City authoritities, the Citizen’s Crime Commission, and the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union are jointly offering a $47,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the abductor of Freeland-Gaither.

Below, watch surveillance video taken hours before the abduction and the day after, both believed to depict the person of interest in the abduction.

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