This kind of story gives you hope for those who have longed to find loved ones who disappeared so long ago. Thankfully they were found alive and all are safe and reunited with family again. What an ordeal. I pray they can piece their lives back together. Sad Amanda Berry’s mom died while she was in captivity. I can’t imagine how he was able to keep them hidden for so long and none of them being able to escape for so long. I wonder what made this time different?
“FBI says victims of Cleveland kidnap ordeal developed an incredible bond while in captivity and have spent time together in hospital since being freed
- Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight kidnapped in Cleveland
- They all disappeared from the same block between 2002 and 2004
- The woman developed a special bond while in captivity and has spent time together in hospital
- Berry’s daughter Jocelyn is happy and healthy and enjoying popsicles
- Ariel Castro, 52, and his brothers arrested on suspicion of kidnapping”
Brothers: From left, Ariel, Onil and Pedro have all been arrested in connection with the abduction of Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michele Knight almost ten years ago
Reunited: Amanda Berry (center) at the Cleveland Hospital alongside her emotional sister (left) and the daughter that she gave birth to during the 10 years she was held against her will
The three women held captive at a Cleveland house for the past ten years have developed a special bond as a result of their grueling ordeal, it has been revealed.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson told ABC TV that the three woman had spent time together at Metro Medical Center hospital, where they were taken after being freed.
Found: Amanda Berry (top) and Gina DeJesus (bottom) were found alive in Cleveland on Monday afternoon
She described them as being in very good spirits and said it was obvious that they were very close.
‘You could see that they had a bond, that they had been through this together,’ she said.
As well as the three women, the other person enjoying their new found freedom is Berry’s six-year-old daughter Jocelyn.
Jocelyn, identified as the daughter of Amanda Berry, was rescued from a Cleveland home on Monday along with her mother and two other woman, Gina DeJesus, 27, and Michelle Knight, 32, after Berry broke free and called 911.
The house in Cleveland which the three women escaped from on Monday
She has been enjoying popsicles in the hospital room she is sharing with her mother.
‘She looks great, happy, healthy and ate a popsicle last night,’ said Cleveland Police Deputy Chief Ed Tomba. ‘Seeing her mother smile made her smile.’
Jocelyn is missing a front tooth and that Berry had been schooling her daughter in the home, said Anderson.
Although it was DeJesus who proudly showed off to investigators a drawing the little girl had made.
Police will soon work to determine the girl’s paternity using DNA tests, Tomba said. Given the circumstances of Berry’s imprisonment it was likely that Jocelyn’s father was one of three brothers arrested in connection to the women’s captivity.
‘It’s a good possibility one of them is,’ Tomba said.
Those men are Ariel Castro, 52, who owned the home on Seymour Avenue in which the women were found and his two brothers Onil Castro, 50, and Pedro Castro, 54.
Tomba said investigators were working to determine if the girl had ever left the house, but said she likely would have gone unnoticed by police who were not looking for a child.
All three women were abducted between 2002 and 2004, Berry and DeJesus were in their teens at the time of their kidnappings and Knight was 20 years old.
On Monday evening, Berry began screaming from behind the locked front door of the home where she and the other women were being held. Neighbors heard her and held kick open the door and then called police, ending what one FBI agent called the women’s ‘nightmare.’
On Tuesday, Cleveland Police said: ‘Every single lead was followed up on no matter how small. We dug up yards, canvassed neighborhoods. [The] real hero is Amanda Berry.’
Until now the search for the missing women had been fruitless, a series of false leads and bitter disappointment for the desperate families.
Michelle Knight, who was 20 years old when she went missing in August 2002, was last seen at a cousin’s house near West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue.
Three years later, in April 2003, Amanda Berry, disappeared after leaving her job at a Burger King – at West 110th Street and Lorain. It was the day before her 17th birthday.
And a year later, Gina DeJesus, then 14 years old, was last seen leaving her middle school at West 105th Street and Lorain.
All three were found safe on Monday night after Berry bolted from a home on Seymour Avenue, about three miles from where they were last seen.
She told police that she and the other girls were being held prisoner by Ariel Castro, 52, who has been arrested along with his two brothers on suspicion of kidnapping.
The exact circumstances of the abductions is currently unclear, and it is not known whether or not the kidnapper deliberately targeted the block where all three victims were taken.
This map shows the block, Lorain Avenue, in Cleveland where the three girls went missing, years apart. They were found Monday on Seymour Avenue, approximately three miles from where they were abducted
2002 – Michelle Knight – disappeared near her cousin’s house
Combing: Cleveland police and FBI agents search a yard. There were apparently signs that dirt had recently been moved in the backyard of the house
The story of Amanda and Gina’s disappearance has been well known in the area for the past decade, as their relatives have continually held vigils and kept the story alive in the press.
Michelle’s case was less high profile – she was 18 at the time of her disappearance on Aug. 23, 2002 and was last seen at a cousin’s house near West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue.
Michelle was not officially registered as missing on the Ohio Police Missing Persons website.
Her grandmother, Deborah Knight, told the Plain Dealer that some family members had concluded, based in part on suggestions by police and social workers at the time, that she had run away after he son was removed from her custody.
But mother Barbara Knight told Cleveland.com that long after police stopped searching, she kept the hunt up for her daughter handing out fliers on Cleveland’s West Side.
She told them that several years ago she believes she saw her daughter walking with an older man at a shopping plaza on West 117th Street.
She said that she shouted out her daughter’s name but the woman, who was being pulled along by her companion, did not turn around.
Ms Knight, told the newspaper she never believed her daughter would have vanished without a trace on her own and that she kept searching long after police gave up looking for her.
‘I’m praying that if it is her, she will come back with me, so I can help her recover from what she has been through,’ the mother was quoted as saying.
‘So much has happened in these 10 years. She has a younger sister she still has not met.’
2003 – Amanda Berry – vanished after finishing work at Burger King
Search: Amanda Berry disappeared on April 21, 2003, a day before her 17th birthday
Three years later Amanda Berry disappeared on April 21, 2003, a day before her 17th birthday.
Amanda vanished shortly after she called her sister to say that she was getting a ride home from her job at Burger King.
Amanda’s mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in March 2006 aged 44.
She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.
Councilwoman Dona Brady said she had spent many hours with Miller, who never gave up hope that her daughter was alive.
‘She literally died of a broken heart,’ Ms Brady said.
In April 2004, Miller turned to a psychic on Montel Williams’ nationally syndicated television show.
The psychic, Sylvia Browne said She’s not alive, honey.’
‘Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.’
Browne said she envisioned Amanda’s jacket in a Dumpster with ‘DNA on it.’
Miller went back to the West Side home where she had been keeping Amanda’s things in careful order and cleaned up.
She gave away her daughter’s computer and took down her pictures. ‘I’m not even buying my baby a Christmas present this year,’ she told local newspaper Cleveland.
In 2009, Wisconsin investigators believed there were striking similarities between Amanda and the body found by deer hunters.
But test results comparing Amanda’s DNA and that of the body came back negative.
In January, a prison inmate was sentenced to four and a half years after admitting he provided a false burial tip in the disappearance of Berry.
A judge in Cleveland sentenced Robert Wolford on his guilty plea to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm.
Last summer, Wolford tipped authorities to look for Berry’s remains in a Cleveland lot. He was taken to the location, which was dug up with backhoes.
Two men arrested for questioning in the disappearance of in 2004 were released from the city jail in 2006 after officers didn’t find her body during a search of the men’s house.
One of the men was transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail on unrelated charges, while the other was allowed to go free, police said.
2004 – Gina Dejesus – last seen on way home from school with friend
Missing: Gina DeJesus, aged 14, went missing on April 2, 2004, on her way home from Wilbur Wright Middle School on Parkhurst Drive
A year after Georgina DeJesus, then 14, disappeared on her way home from Wilbur Wright Middle School on Parkhurst Drive.
Known as Gina, the seventh-grader in special education classes, was last seen near a payphone in Cleveland in mid-afternoon on 2 April 2004 with a classmate.
The pair had called the friend’s mother asking for a sleepover at the Gina’s house, but when the girl’s mother said no the pair parted ways.
‘I gave her the $1.25 to catch the bus because it was cold outside,’ said her mother, Nancy Ruiz.
But she has ‘the tendency to walk home and use the money for’ after-school snacks, she explained.
A bloodhound tracked her scent a block from the corner of West 105th Street and Lorain Avenue, where she was last seen, to West 104th Street, then the trail went cold.
Gina’s cousin Sylvia Colon told local press in 2004 that her father, Felix, was ‘beyond desperate’ to bring her home.
Ruiz’s yard and house in the 3700 block of West 71st Street become a shrine for Gina.
She lit candles on her porch on a nightly basis and prayed for the safe return of her daughter.
Distraught: Felix DeJesus, holding a banner showing his daughter’s photograph, standing by a memorial in his living room in Cleveland (file photo)
©2008-2013 Patricia Garza