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Cops plea for help in Bucks County abduction

Police say Diane Corado (left), 57, was abducted at knifepoint by Kenneth L. Patterson (right), her ex-boyfriend.
Police say Diane Corado (left), 57, was abducted at knifepoint by Kenneth L. Patterson (right), her ex-boyfriend.Read more

Police on Tuesday renewed their plea for the public's help in finding a missing Bucks County woman, releasing photos and new details from what they say was her harrowing abduction by an ex-boyfriend.

The information included surveillance photos showing the suspect, Kenneth Patterson, at a Cheltenham Township ATM about an hour after he allegedly barreled into the Levittown apartment of Diane Corado around dawn on Dec. 19, beat her with a pipe, then forced her at knifepoint into her car.

Patterson withdrew cash from Corado's account at the money machine outside the Cheltenham Mall around 7 a.m. that day, according to Falls Township Lt. Henry Ward. He declined to say how much money was taken or if it had been recovered.

The same surveillance video showed at least three vehicles passing the ATM, Ward said. One of those or a passerby, Ward said, might have noticed something about the black Aztek with butterfly sticker on the back and a personalized license plate: DMC-XOXO.

Even something "that somebody thinks is trivial to them might not be to us," Ward said. "It may be the missing piece."

Patterson remains jailed in New Jersey, fighting extradition on kidnapping and other charges. The ex-con, whose relationship with Corado had recently ended, has refused to cooperate, prompting an exhaustive but so far unsuccessful search for the missing woman along highways, in parks and desolate spots in multiple communities in two states.

Authorities have been reluctant to speculate on Corado's fate.

"We have serious concerns, obviously, about whether she's dead or alive," First Assistant Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry said Tuesday. "What we need is the public's help."

Investigators believe that Corado was still in the car when Patterson was at the ATM. But they aren't sure if she was there when the Aztek was spotted crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge into New Jersey around 7:40 a.m.

After abandoning the vehicle, Patterson flagged down a taxi in Camden and checked into a Maple Shade motel, police said. Investigators found the bloodstained Aztek in Camden that day. They located Patterson that night at a different Maple Shade motel. His clothes also appeared to be stained with blood, an investigator's affidavit says.

A South Jersey native, Patterson has a criminal history that dates to the 1980s. His last prison term ended when he was released in January after serving almost two years for illegal weapons possession and receiving stolen property.