Bonnie Sweeten, of Feasterville, made the cell phone call Tuesday, saying she was locked in the trunk of a car, police and the FBI said. She told a 911 dispatcher that two men abducted her and 9-year-old Julia Rakoczy after the men's car struck her SUV around 2 p.m.
It is not clear whether the 38-year-old mother knew the two men. Sweeten, who is white, described them only as two black men.
FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver told the Philadelphia Daily News that there were "inconsistencies" in the woman's account, but said, "Right now, we're treating this as an abduction based on the information provided in the 911 call."
Investigators determined that Sweeten's phone call was last transmitted via a cell tower in downtown Philadelphia, about 20 miles from the abduction scene. Police found her SUV near that tower early Wednesday, but were still searching for the other car reported to be involved in the accident, authorities said.
Sweeten's ex-husband and the girl's father, Tony Rakoczy, said on NBC's "Today" show that he doesn't understand why the two would be abducted.
"There's no reason why they would keep them," he said. "We don't have money. I don't understand."