Three women missing for years found just miles from home

first_imgTHREE YOUNG US women who went missing around a decade ago – two of whom disappeared as teenagers – were found alive Monday in a house in Cleveland, as police arrested three suspects in the case.The dramatic discovery – just a few miles from where the women went missing – ended years of anguished searching by their families and drew hundreds of cheering people to the usually quiet, residential street in the state of Ohio.FILE – In this March 3, 2006 file photo, a memorial for Gina DeJesus, who has been missing since April 2, 2004, rests alongside her house in Cleveland. Pic: AP Photo/Tony Dejak, FileThe details of the trauma they may have suffered in captivity were not yet known, but it appeared that at least one of the girls had borne a child.Police said they have arrested three Hispanic men in their 50s in connection to the case but declined to provide further details. A press conference is scheduled for this morning.Members of the FBI evidence team remove items from a house on in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)The long nightmare ended when Amanda Berry — who had been kidnapped 10 years ago at the age of 16 — reached her arm through a crack in the front door and called for help.“I heard screaming… And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside of the house,” Charles Ramsey, told the local ABC news affiliate.I go on the porch, and she said ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time.’ FBI photo of Gina DeJesus before she went missingKayla Rogers, 23, went to school with DeJesus and joined the crowd gathered near the house where her friend had been held captive.“They don’t find people who go missing, you know,” Rogers, 23, told the Plain Dealer. “I’m at a loss for words.”Neighbor Charlie Czorb said he was stunned by how long the women had lived at the house undetected, saying: “These girls were locked up in our own backyard.”Police and FBI congregate outside a house on Cleveland’s west side. Pic: AP/Mark DuncanCastro was described by neighbours as a friendly school bus driver and musician whose daughter would often come over with his grandchildren.Ramsay, the man who helped Berry escape, also expressed shock, telling reporters he had eaten ribs and listened to Salsa music with Castro.Tasheena Mitchell, 26, said she didn’t believe her brother at first when he called to tell her that their cousin Amanda had been found alive and said she raced to the hospital to confirm it with her own eyes.“She was my best friend,” Mitchell told the Plain Dealer.A friend interrupted her, “She’s alive. She is your best friend.”(AssociatedPress/YouTube)TreatedAn emergency room doctor who treated the three women said they were in fair condition and were being evaluated.“This isn’t the ending we usually hear to these stories so we’re very happy for them,” the doctor, Gerald Maloney, told reporters.Pic: AP Photo/Mark DuncanWhile much is not yet known about the case, it immediately recalled some of the most notorious child kidnappings.Jaycee Lee Dugard turned up 18 years after she was kidnapped at the age of 11 in the US state of California. She had been kept in a hidden backyard behind the house of her captor, Phillip Garrido, and had two children with him.Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her home in June 2002 and repeatedly raped by a self-styled prophet during nine months of captivity.Smart was rescued in March 2003 less than 20 miles (30 kilometers) from her home. Her abductor, Brian David Mitchell, was jailed for life in 2011.Austrian Natascha Kampusch was kidnapped at the age of 10 by Wolfgang Priklopil, who held her captive in a cellar for eight years before she managed to escape in 2006. He threw himself under a train the night she got away.- © AFP, 2013 FILE – In this Friday, March 3, 2004 file photo, Felix DeJesus, holds a banner showing his daughter’s photograph, standing by a memorial in his living room in Cleveland. Pic: AP Photo/Tony Dejak, FileRamsey, a bystander now hailed as a hero, said he tried to get her out through the door but could not pull it open, so he kicked out the bottom and she crawled through “carrying a little girl.”Berry went into a neighbouring home and called police, begging them to come as soon as they could, “before he gets back.”“I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been missing for 10 years. I’m free. I’m here now,” a frantic Berry says in the recording of her call to 911. When police arrived, she said two other women were being held captive.An official FBI photo of Amanda Berry – updated to show she has been found.She told the dispatcher that the man who had held her was named Ariel Castro. Media reports identified the three suspects as Castro and his two brothers, but police provided no confirmation.“All three women, Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, seem to be in good health,” Cleveland police said in a statement.(AndyPicturesEnt/YouTube)Last seenBerry was last seen on April 21, 2003 when she left work at a fast food restaurant just a few blocks from her home around 7:40 pm. Her mother, Louwanna Miller, died of a “broken heart” in March 2006, Dona Brady, a family friend, told CNN.DeJesus was 14 when she vanished while walking home from school on April 2, 2004. Knight, who was 21 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen at a cousin’s house on August 23, 2002, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.last_img read more