State police spent hours Tuesday evening actively searching a wooded area in Washington County for a man charged with raping and kidnapping his former girlfriend.
Trooper Stefani Plume said investigators "developed intelligence" Tuesday afternoon that John Gallo, 40, of Washington, might be near Moore Road in rural 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 but they suspect that Mr. Gallo, who lives in the area, may still be nearby and are urging residents to be cautious and to contact police if they encounter him.
Troopers obtained a warrant on Monday to arrest Mr. Gallo for rape, kidnapping and other charges.
They said he forced his way into the woman's home Sunday, 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.
Instead, police said, he raped her, drove her home and raped her again.
When the woman tried to call police while Mr. Gallo was sleeping, he 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.