Investigators ask neighbors to check property as Delvin Barnes heads back to Philadelphia
CHARLES CITY COUNTY, Va. — The man accused of abducting a teenage girl off the streets of Richmond last month was transported to Philadelphia Tuesday to face similar charges there. Delvin Barnes is scheduled to go before a federal judge Wednesday where he will be arraigned on those abduction-related charges.
Barnes had been incarcerated at Riverside Regional Jail in Virginia since his capture last week.
Barnes was charged with abduction, forcible rape, malicious wounding with a chemical and other charges related to the early October disappearance of a 16-year-old girl from Richmond, according to investigators. That girl managed to escape after two days, walking two miles, naked and burned, into a business to seek help.
Investigators in Charles City County have asked homeowner who lived near Barnes to check around their properties for anything suspicious.
How Barnes was caught in Philadelphia
A video from just after 6 a.m. last Monday, showed a man in a dark hooded jacket using missing woman Carlesha Freeland-Gaither’s ATM card at a machine in Aberdeen, Maryland, which is about 75 miles from Philadelphia.
And on Wednesday, police released an additional video of a man, also wearing dark clothing, making a purchase at a convenience store on Monday.
Someone who sold a car to Barnes recognized him from one of the videos and alerted authorities. The dealer had placed a GPS device in the vehicle because of worries about Barnes’ bad credit, according to Charles City County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jayson Crawley.
“From that, we were able to trace the car,” Ramsey said. “We were able to then contact Charles City (Virginia authorities), … and things started really falling into place very quickly.”
Such devices are put in cars to alert customers if they’re behind on payments and, if they don’t pay on time, allowing dealers to shut down the vehicle and track it down, said PassTime USA CEO Stan Schwartz, the head of the company that made the unit. In this case, Barnes knew it was there.
PassTime has about 1.5 million such units out on the road, but has been only asked by law enforcement 10 to 15 times to track them as part of a criminal investigation, according to Schwartz. He said that the car dealer worked with authorities earlier this week, with the PassTime USA headquarters getting involved Thursday morning.
Police don’t believe either victim knew Barnes
Like the case involving Freeland-Gaither, authorities believe that case was a stranger abduction, meaning the victim didn’t know who took her.
“We used to chill, hang out. He’s a good guy,” a friend of Barnes said.
“I don’t believe it … He is always looking to help somebody, always looking to bend over backwards. He’ll give the shirt off his back if he could,” Ronald Davis said.
The travels of Barnes ended Wednesday night in Jessup, Maryland.
“We surveilled that vehicle in the area,” FBI agent Ed Hanko said of the car Barnes is thought to have used in Freeland-Gaither’s kidnapping.
“… When the subject exited the vehicle, that’s when Ms. (Freeland-Gaither) was recovered.”
The 22-year-old nursing assistant was released early Thursday from Maryland’s Howard County General Hospital, having been reunited with her family after a harrowing three days.
“She’s doing about as well as you can expect. Obviously, she’s traumatized by the entire event over the past few days, so it’s going to take a little time for that to heal. But she’s doing well. She’s back with her family and she’s very, very happy about that,” Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
“She had injuries, but nothing life threatening, fortunately,” he said.
This is a developing story.