Published on May 6, 2013
Cleveland police said missing teens Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and a third woman were found in a west side house on Monday.
Hundreds of people gathered in the streets near 2207 Seymour Avenue in Cleveland, where the women were discovered. Cleveland police said Berry, DeJesus and Michelle Knight are alive, talking and appear to be OK.
“I heard screaming… And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” said Charles, a neighbor would found the women. “I go on the porch and she said ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.’ I figure it was domestic violence dispute.”
“She comes out with a little girl and says ‘Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry’… When she told me, it didn’t register.” He said he made the call and gave Berry the phone. When police arrived, officers asked him if he knew who he rescued.
A witness who spoke Spanish told NewsChannel5’s Stephanie Ramirez that he helped break down the door. He said there was a child who was about 4 or 5 years old with Berry, as well as other children inside the house. He said he recognized Berry from posters.
Officers have a suspect in custody. There will be a media briefing Tuesday morning.
Berry was last seen in 2003 when she was called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from work at the Burger King on West 110th Street and Lorain Avenue. She was set to turn 17 the day after her disappearance. Her mother died of heart failure in 2006.
On April 2, 2004, 14-year-old DeJesus went missing while walking home from Wilbur Wright Middle School. She was last seen around West 105 Street and Lorain Avenue. Her mother, Nancy Ruiz, said she believed DeJesus was sold into human trafficking.
“I always said it from the beginning; she was sold to the highest bidder,” Ruiz said in April 2012.
The remaining families of both women went to MetroHealth Medical Center, where they will be reunited. FBI agents were also at the hospital Monday night as family and friends flocked to see the women.
“I am thankful that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive. We have many unanswered questions regarding this case and the investigation will be ongoing. Again, I am thankful that these three young ladies are found and alive,” Mayor Frank Jackson said.
Last summer, there was a break in Berry case that turned out to be an inmate’s hoax. Robert Wolford, 26, told authorities that Berry’s body was in a vacant lot in Cleveland. Police searched at West 30th Street and Wade Avenue in July with backhoes, but nothing was found. Wolford was sentenced to four and half years in prison after pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm.