State police spent hours this evening actively searching a wooded area in Washington County for a man charged with raping and kidnapping his ex.
Trooper Stefani Plume said investigators "developed intelligence" this afternoon that John Gallo, 40, of Washington, might be near Moore Road in South Franklin.
Troopers, aided by a helicopter, began searching the area between 2:30 and 3 p.m., she said, and found Mr. Gallo's abandoned car. She said investigators are not yet sure how long the car had been there. They were still searching for Mr. Gallo, who lives somewhat close to where his car was found, about 7:30 p.m. and planned to search for him for another half hour or so before stopping for the evening because it was growing dark.
Troopers suspect Mr. Gallo may still be in the area and are urging anyone who sees him to be cautious.
Troopers obtained a warrant on Monday to arrest Mr. Gallo for rape, kidnapping and other charges.
They said he arrived at the Canton home where one his ex's lives about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and the woman asked him to leave and return 20 minutes later. They said the woman locked the doors and that when Mr. Gallo returned he threatened to break in her windows, forced his way through the door and put the woman in a choke-hold.
He then told her he had a gun, placed her in his car, drove down Route 40 toward a mine shaft and "advised the victim they were both going to die," troopers said. The woman told troopers that Mr. Gallo threatened to throw her down the mine shaft and said he would "then shoot himself and fall in after her."
Instead, police said, he raped her, drove her home and raped her again.
The woman tried to call police while Mr. Gallo was sleeping on Monday morning, but told troopers that he caught her making the call and then forced her inside the car and drove off with her again. State police said the woman jumped out of the moving car and several people came to her aid.
State police are asking anyone with information about Mr. Gallo's whereabouts to call them at 724-223-5200.
Liz Navratil: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1438. First Published September 25, 2012 11:45 PM