PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –Philadelphia police are looking for three suspects wanted in connection with the abduction and rape of a 28-year-old mother from the city’s Lawncrest section.
Police say the victim, who owns two daycare centers, was returning to her home on Lawndale Avenue on Monday night when she was grabbed from behind, blindfolded, and thrown into a vehicle.
Police say two men and a woman took the victim to a unknown location where she was bound to a chair and put into a closet.
Capt. John Darby, of the Philadelphia Police Department’s special victims unit (right), says the woman had two cell phones; the captors took one but the other remained in her purse, and she was eventually able to gain access to it.
Darby says she called a family member but didn’t know her location.
“East Detectives picked up the investigation at that point,” said Darby, adding, “Another contact, somebody she knows, also received a phone call overnight demanding $20,000 in ransom for her return.”
Darby says police think it was not a random act — the victim was targeted in an extortion scheme.
“The clothing she is wearing is pulled over her eyes. This individual takes hold of her, she is put into — she believes is a van because she heard a sliding door — and taken from the scene.”
Police say the woman was raped by one of the men. Appromximately 21 hours after her abduction, she was found on Tuesday night by a group of women walking in Fairmount Park. She was partially clothed and bound. No ransom was paid.
The victim was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where she was treated.
Police say the victim has now been released from the hospital and they are hoping anyone with information will call Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS or the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251.
Investigators emphasize they need help from eyewitnesses because the victim, blindfolded for most of her ordeal, was able to provide very little descriptions of her attackers or their vehicle.
Reported By: Walt Hunter, CBS 3; Al Novack and John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio
Photo #2 by John McDevitt