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Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, the 22-year-old woman whose kidnapping was caught on surveillance tape in Philadelphia, has been found alive just 72 hours after her ordeal.

Her abductor, 37-year-old Devin Barnes, was arrested in a Jessup, Maryland parking lot Wednesday afternoon. Police say Gaither was found with minor injuries. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she is expected to recover.

“It’s very special for all of us. 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,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

“I’m taking my baby home. Thank you,” Keisha Gaither, the woman’s overjoyed mother, told the public at a news conference Wednesday night. Her family erupted into applause as the woman spoke.

Police are still investigating the kidnapping, but have revealed that Barnes is connected to a similar crime against a teenage girl.

Barnes, who has ties to Philadelphia, apparently attacked Freeland-Gaither at random, detectives said. He is being held on an warrant for attempted murder of a 16-year-old girl last month in Charles City County, Virginia.

“He’s a thug and this is what he does apparently,” Ramsey said of the alleged abductor. “He’s a vicious predator. He’s off the streets.”

Police were able to locate Barnes and his latest victim after receiving a tip from the ATF Office in Richmond, Virginia investigating him for previous crimes. They believed the man in the surveillance tape to be their suspect, detectives said.

Authorities began tracking his gray Ford Taurus through a GPS device placed inside the vehicle by the car dealership where it was purchased, detectives said. The GPS was installed because Barnes had poor credit, officials said.

Agents honed in on his location, in a shopping center parking lot, and moved in to strike.

“He was more surprised than anything,” ATF agent Tim Jones said of the arrest.

Barnes and the victim were in the backseat of the car when agents arrived, but he quickly jumped into the driver’s seat to try and flee, Jones said. Agents blocked his way and took him into custody.

Freeland-Gaither screamed hysterically for help as the arrest was taking place, telling the agents she was the woman who had been abducted in Philadelphia, Jones said.

“Once she had time to process what had happened you could tell she was emotionally distraught,” he said.

Barnes is expected to be charged federally. Police provided transportation to the Maryland hospital for 15 of Gaither’s family members in an effort to help the victim begin her healing process. We wish her the best of luck.


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