Philadelphia Abduction Suspect Charged in Teen Abduction Last Month


The man arrested in the abduction of a Philadelphia woman is accused of a similar crime just one month ago and a mere 275 miles away. He is accused of hitting a Virginia teen with a shovel and then shoving her into the trunk of a car. Delvin Barnes, 37, was charged for the first kidnapping on Thursday night after authorities extradited him to Virginia. He was arrested on Wednesday approximately 20 miles southwest of Baltimore for kidnapping a nursing assistant in Philadelphia. Neither last month’s victim nor Sunday’s Philadelphia victim knew suspect Barnes prior to their kidnappings.

Both the Virginia and Philadelphia kidnappings of which Barnes is accused were brazen. The Virginia abduction involved a 16-year-old teen who police say was sexually assaulted while captive. The Guardian Liberty Voice does not identify minors who are victims of crimes. The teen’s relatives called the Charles City County Sheriff’s Office on October 1 to report her missing. Capt. Jayson Crawley says that, according to the victim, she was shoved into the trunk of Barnes’ car after he hit her head with a shovel. He drove her to his parent’s mobile home and sexually assaulted her. The teen says that while she was being held captive, Barnes showed her photos of other girls he claimed to have kidnapped. After two days, he took the teen, naked, to the backyard of the home and poured gasoline and bleach on her. He then set fire to her clothes and proceeded to dig a hole which was intended to be her grave. The girl managed to escape into the woods when Barnes was momentarily distracted. She went two miles before finding a business, where employees took her inside.

In addition to other crimes, Barnes was charged on Thursday with forcible rape, abduction and maliciously wounding the teen with a chemical. The teen’s mother told WWBT that Barnes threatened to kill the girl. She added that after the ordeal, her daughter “didn’t look like herself,” which devastated her. Barnes was charged after his DNA matched that found on the victim.

The abduction in Philadelphia was of a 22-year-old nurse named Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, who Barnes is accused of kidnapping on Sunday night after she exited a bus. During the short walk to her house, Barnes’ passed her in his car and then abruptly parked. Exiting the car, the suspect and Freeland-Gaither encountered each other in an intersection. According to Chief Inspector Dennis Wilson of the Philadelphia police, Barnes then made his move. After a short struggle on the ground, during which the nurse’s cellphone and eyeglasses fell on the road, he forced the victim into his car. Freeland-Gaither fiercely struggled with her abducter and managed to break a window of his car before the suspect drove away. The entire abduction was recorded by nearby surveillance cameras.


Dwayne Fletcher witnessed the kidnapping and called police. James Sloan, detective with the Philadelphia police, called Fletcher “a hero,” saying that if he had not called, they may not have found Barnes with a still-alive Freeland-Gaither, although Barnes himself left plenty of clues along the way from Philadelphia to Maryland. On Monday, the victim’s cash card was used at an ATM in Aberdeen, Maryland. The same card was also used at a convenience store the same day, giving police surveillance footage to release to the public.

An auto dealer saw the videos and recognized Barnes. He then called police to tell them that because of Barnes’ poor credit history and with his consent, he had installed a GPS tracking device in Barnes’ car, which lets customers know when they have fallen behind on car payments and enables auto sellers to find the vehicle and shut it off. Federal agents used the GPS to locate the vehicle in Jessup, Maryland, on Wednesday, at which time they discovered the victim and the suspect lying side-by-side in the back seat. They rescued Freeland-Gaither and arrested Barnes. The victim was admitted to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but released on Thursday. The criminal complaint filed in the case says that Barnes has admitted to abducting the nurse. He faces federal charges of kidnapping.

Barnes arrived at Riverside Regional Jail on Friday at 2 a.m. and is currently on suicide watch, after having been evaluated by medical professionals. Detectives and the public at large are not permitted contact with Barnes while he remains under suicide watch.

Barnes served an eight-year prison sentence for assaulting his estranged wife and in-laws in 2005. Records in the case say that Barnes choked and beat his wife, hit her mother in the face and used a glass bowl to strike her father in the head. The parole board in Pennsylvania declined to release Barnes early, citing his lack of remorse and the ongoing threat he posed to the community. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

By Jennifer Pfalz


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