Amanda Berry may start a new life near her extended family in Tennessee after escaping the abductor who held her captive in Cleveland for ten years.
Amanda Berry, now 27, vanished in Cleveland, Ohio, on the day before her 17th birthday on April 21, 2003, shortly after calling her sister to say she was getting a lift home from her job at Burger King.
She incredible emerged alive earlier this month when she managed to escape from the basement of a house in Cleveland where she had been sexually abused by her captor Ariel Castro and gave birth to her 6-year-old daughter Jocelyn.
The other two women, Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32, who disappeared from the same block as Amanda Berry in 2004 and 2002 were also rescued from the property.
Amanda Berry’s relatives now hope she will move to Tennessee so she can be closer to her father and extended family.
Her uncle, Curtis Berry, 50, from Elizabethton, Tennessee, told nydailynews.com: “She has more kin here than anywhere else. This is her home.”
Amanda Berry may start a new life near her extended family in Tennessee after escaping the abductor who held her captive in Cleveland for ten years
Amanda Berry has also been to visit the grave of her mother Louwana Miller, who never gave up hope her daughter was alive, for the first time since she passed away.
Her alleged abductor Ariel Castro, 52, is currently being held in prison awaiting trial.
A brief video filmed by Jasmina Baldrich shows the very first image of Amanda Berry after she broke out of the house of horrors after being held captive for a decade.
Amanda Berry can be seen clutching her six-year-old daughter Jocelyn in her arms and holding Charles Ramsey’s hand for comfort. Charles Ramsey was later hailed has a hero for responding to Berry’s cries for help and phoning 911.
Cops can be seen prying open the front door of Ariel Castro’s house. Once open, they flood into the home, some reaching for their handguns.
Jasmina Baldrich and her friend Ashley Colon were driving down Seymour Avenue on Monday evening when they were suddenly surrounded by police cruisers.
The revelation that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were alive and had been kept as sex slaves for a decade shocked and horrified the nation, but it was seen as a miracle in Cleveland.
The three women have hired attorneys and a PR firm to represent them as the entire world waits for them to make their first public appearances.
Their lawyer addressed the media on Sunday morning with a brief public statement saying the girls were thankful for the support from the community.
However, they asked for privacy and said they would not give any public interviews until after Ariel Castro’s trial.
Charles Ramsey has been hailed as America’s hero since rescuing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight, who were kidnapped ten years ago in Cleveland.
Countless TV interviews and accolades, it looks like Charles Ramsey is here to stay in our good graces for a while for his amazing deed.
But what is there to know about Charles Ramsey?
Occupation: Dishwasher at Hodge’s Restaurant in Cleveland
Fun fact: Charles Ramsey attended Charles F. Brush High School in Cleveland which is rivals to Orange High School which Good Morning America anchor, George Stephanopoulos, attended.
Charles Ramsey appeared on GMA on May 8.
Since rescuing the three missing girls, he’s already been autotuned a few times (as well as chopped and screwed, unfortunately).
Charles Ramsey lived next door to where Ariel Castro is alleged to have kept the women in a makeshift prison until Monday afternoon, when Ramsey happened to be home and heard Amanda Berry’s scream.
As he said: “I got the day off from work, so naturally you’re doing nothing.”
Actually, Charles Ramsey was “eating my McDonald’s,” a fact he trumpeted so frequently that the grateful food giant is trying to get in touch with him. A website that compiled some of Charles Ramsey’s television interviews kept count of how many times he mentioned McDonald’s in each.
Charles Ramsey has been hailed as America’s hero since rescuing Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight
McDonald’s seemed particularly delighted by the unexpected association with a hero. The corporation tweeted on Tuesday: “Way to go Charles Ramsey – we’ll be in touch.”
A company spokeswoman said Wednesday that it was trying to reach out to Charles Ramsey through its local franchise.
Charles Ramsey, 43, gave a series of interviews to Cleveland television stations as the story broke Monday night that were replayed on national news. CNN’s Anderson Cooper tracked him down for a lengthy conversation the next night. The interviews are performance art masterpieces, so filled with colorful language and astute reporting that he trended on Twitter and was the subject of Internet memes and an Auto-tuned song.
Similarly, a tape of a much more profane Charles Ramsey talking to a 911 operator (whom he later called an imbecile) is circulating on the Web.
During his initial interviews, Charles Ramsey said he was shocked to learn of allegations that Ariel Castro led a double life.
Charles Ramsey said he “used to barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what-not, listen to salsa music”.
He attracted so much attention that websites and media organizations dug into his past. He did jail time for domestic violence in the 1990s, according to the Ohio Department of Corrections.
Charles Ramsey, whose colorful television interviews quickly rocketed him to Internet stardom, was first charged with domestic violence in 1997, according to court records obtained by The Smoking Gun. He pleaded no contest to the charge and was found guilty. While waiting to be sentenced in July 1998, Charles Ramsey was arrested for domestic violence again.
He was ordered to serve six months in jail, placed on 5-year probation and directed to attend a domestic violence counseling program, the court records show.
Charles Ramsey was arrested again for domestic abuse in 2003, this time sentenced to eight months in prison. His wife, Rochelle, with whom he fathered a daughter, subsequently filed for divorce, citing “extreme cruelty”.
Rochelle, who is now remarried, told The Smoking Gun that Charles Ramsey “eventually apologized for battering her”.
There was some indication Charles Ramsey’s attention was prompting some jealousy. A Cleveland television station ran a story quoting Angel Cordero, another neighbor of Ariel Castro’s, who also said he was there helping Amanda Berry on Monday.
“I was there and I was first,” Angel Cordero said, according to WEWS-TV.
Charles Ramsey, the Cleveland hero who helped rescue three women after a decade of captivity in his neighbor’s house, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America on Wednesday morning in his latest interview.
Charles Ramsey, who has emerged an overnight sensation both for his good citizenship and animated on-camera commentary, told George Stephanopoulos via satellite that he had been living next door to Ariel Castro for a year but hadn’t seen any clues that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were being held inside.
Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning in his latest interview
On Monday, Amanda Berry got his attention while Ariel Castro was away and Charles Ramsey helped her out of the house.
Coverage of the kidnappings has featured prominently on the network morning shows. On GMA, George Stephanopoulos pressed Charles Ramsey on whether he had noticed anything awry next door prior to the women’s escape.
“Not one iota because I wouldn’t have been speaking to this dude,” said Charles Ramsey, noting how “scary” it was to learn what his neighbor had done.
“So either I’m that stupid or [he’s] that good,” Charles Ramsey added.
Cleveland kidnap victim Gina DeJesus gave a thumbs up as she arrived home on Wednesday before being hurried into her mother’s home shielded by family.
Gina DeJesus’ homecoming came hours after Amanda Berry made an emotional return to her loved ones following the young women’s courageous escape from ten years in captivity. Michele Knight, 32, and Amanda Berry’s 6-year-old daughter were also freed after the horrifying ordeal.
Hundreds of well-wishers gathered in front of the DeJesus property which was covered in balloons and signs, reading “Welcome home Gina”.
Gina DeJesus’ aunt Nancy Ruiz spoke on Wednesday and asked for the family to be given time to heal. She thanked those who had supported the family over the years along with the police and FBI for all their hard work.
Nancy Ruiz appealed to the public to be on the look-out for another missing girl Ashley Summers, who was snatched in 2007 from the same Cleveland neighborhood when she was 14.
She said: “There are not enough words to say or express for the joy we feel for the return of our family member Gina.
“We are asking for your support to be patient with us. Give us time and privacy to heal. When we’re ready, I promise you…we will talk to you.”
Gina DeJesus’ mother and father smiled and gave thumbs up to supporters.
“They never gave up hope. Felix never gave up hope that she was alive,” said neighbor Michael Pendershot, 47, who lives three houses down from the DeJesus family.
Everyone in the neighborhood said Gina DeJesus’s kidnapping in 2004 changed them in some way.
Gina DeJesus returns home after ten years in captivity
“After she went missing, my parents didn’t hardly let me out of the house. They never let me walk anywhere,” said Taydreet Maurosa, 20.
Taydreet Maurosa was just 11 when Gina DeJesus went missing. She said the case was in the back of her mind every day as she grew up.
Men wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “guardian angel” stood behind police tape in front of the property as a huge crowd applauded and cheered for the young woman.
Gina DeJesus, 23, arrived home wearing what appeared to be the same yellow, hooded sweatshirt that Amanda Berry had been seen in.
Amanda Berry, 27, was surrounded by police as she swept into the driveway of her sister’s home in Cleveland, Ohio in a motorcade this morning.
One officer carried her 6-year-old young daughter Jocelyn, in a white-hooded sweatshirt, through the back door of the house.
The house had been decked with balloons, flowers, teddy bears and banners which read “We love you Mandy”.
Crowds of neighbors cheered as her sister Beth Serrano appeared from her home minutes later.
Beth Serrano’s voice wavered as she thanked the public and media for their support over many years
She said: “We are so happy to have Amanda home. We request privacy to recover.”
Amanda Berry went missing in 2003 aged 16, a day before her 17th anniversary, but her family say they never gave up hope that she was still alive.
Six police motorcycle outriders escorted her to the house on W 129th street that was festooned with balloons and messages of goodwill.
Weeping friends and several cousins surged forward to the mini-van containing Amanda Berry and her 6-year-old daughter Jocelyn who was born in captivity.
One friend with tears streaming down her face, leaned into the car before it swept into the driveway of the home.
Many in the large crowd wept as they glimpsed Amanda Berry for the first time since she went missing.
Family friend Abby Turnvill said: “This is such a special day. Just to see her again is, like wow. I can’t wait to talk with her and catch up. We got a lot of catching up to do.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Amanda Berry heard her grandmother’s voice for the first time in a decade, with the moment being captured on camera.
Fern Gentry fought back tears as she spoke on the phone to her granddaughter, hours after the daring escape from a Cleveland house.
Ohio police have praised the bravery of three women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – found alive on Monday evening in a house in Cleveland, after they vanished about a decade ago.
Amanda Berry, who disappeared in 2003 aged 16, escaped with a neighbor’s help while her alleged captor, later identified as Ariel Castro, was away.
Gina DeJesus, who went missing aged 14 a year later, and Michele Knight, who vanished in 2002 aged about 19, were also rescued from the property.
School bus driver Ariel Castro and his two brothers have been arrested.
The three women were taken to hospital for a check-up and to be reunited with their relatives before being discharged on Tuesday morning.
A six-year-old girl also rescued from the house was believed to be the daughter of Amanda Berry, Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told a news conference.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Anthony said: “The nightmare is over. These three young ladies have provided us with the ultimate definition of survival and perseverance. The healing can now begin.”
“Yes, law enforcement professionals do cry,” he added.
Ed Tomba vowed prosecutors would “bring the full weight of justice” on those responsible in the “horrific case”.
Ariel Castro, 52, and his two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, have been taken into custody.
Amanda Berry disappeared in 2003 aged 16
Police Chief Michael McGrath said the women were believed to have been tied up at the house. Officials said they may also investigate other properties.
Amanda Berry, now 27, escaped on Monday evening when a neighbor heard her screaming and kicking a door, while her alleged captor was out of the house.
Rescuer Charles Ramsey said he had helped kick in a metal door so that Amanda Berry could climb outside and phone police.
In a recording of Monday’s emergency call, Amanda Berry says: “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here. I’m free now.”
Amanda Berry identifies herself to the 911 dispatcher, saying she has been on the news for the past decade, and begging for help to arrive before her captor returns.
Police Chief Michael McGrath told Tuesday’s news conference: “Thankfully, due to Amanda’s brave actions these three women are alive today.”
Neighbor Anna Tejeda said she had refused to believe the young woman at first.
“You’re not Amanda Berry. Amanda Berry is dead,” she said, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Other neighbors in the working-class district said they did not realize anybody was living at the house at 2207 Seymour Ave.
During the news conference, Public Safety Director Martin Flask said that in March 2000, Ariel Castro had called the authorities to report a fight on his street, but no arrest was made.
In January 2004, police called at Ariel Castro’s home, but no-one answered. They were alerted by children’s services after a child was left at a depot on a school bus that Ariel Castro had been driving. Authorities concluded there had been no criminal intent.
Amanda Berry had last been heard from aged 16 when she called her sister on 21 April 2003 to say she would get a lift home from her job at a Burger King restaurant.
In 2004, Gina DeJesus – who is now 23 years old – was believed to have been on her way home from school when she went missing.
Their disappearances made local headlines in Cleveland, and many assumed the girls were dead.
The case of Michele Knight, who was older than the other women when she disappeared and is now 32, was less widely publicized.
Her grandmother, Deborah Knight, was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper on Monday as saying the authorities concluded she had run away.
The victims’ families have responded with stunned joy. Sylvia Colon, a relative of Gina DeJesus, said they had never given up hope.
But Amanda Berry’s mother, Louwana, died in March 2006, three years after her daughter went missing. A local politician said the mother had died of a “broken heart”.
In an extraordinary twist, it emerged that Ariel Castro’s son – also called Ariel, although he goes by his middle name Anthony – wrote an article about the disappearance of Gina DeJesus for his local newspaper in 2004.
Police have not commented on the case of a fourth missing girl, Ashley Summers, who disappeared in the same area in July 2007 when 14 years old.
Anthony Castro – son of Ariel Castro, the prime suspect in the abduction of three Cleveland girls – interviewed missing Gina DeJesus’ mother for a local newspaper, with no idea she was being held captive at his father’s house.
Anthony Castro, 31, said he was absolutely stunned when he heard about what his father has been accused of, after Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michele Knight and Amanda’s six-year-old daughter were rescued from his home.
After the disappearance of Gina DeJesus in April 2004, Anthony Castro penned a piece for his local paper which included quotes from her mother.
He was a journalism student at Bowling Green State University when he wrote the article, entitled Gina DeJesus’ disappearance has changed her neighborhood, for the Plain Press in June of that year.
Gina DeJesus’ mother Nancy Ruiz told him: “You can tell the difference. People are watching out for each other’s kids. It’s a shame that a tragedy had to happen for me to really know my neighbors.
“Bless their hearts, they’ve been great. People are really looking out for my daughter.”
The aspiring journalist described the atmosphere of the area after the incident.
Anthony Castro interviewed Gina DeJesus’ mother for a local newspaper, with no idea the girl was being held captive by his father
“Since April 2, 2004 , the day 14-year-old Gina DeJesus was last seen on her way home from Wilbur Wright Middle School, neighborhood residents have been taken by an overwhelming need for caution.
“Parents are more strictly enforcing curfews, encouraging their children to walk in groups, or driving them to and from school when they had previously walked alone.
“On Cleveland’s west side, it is difficult to go any length of time without seeing Gina’s picture on telephone poles, in windows, or on cars along the busy streets.
“One thing is for certain, however. Almost everyone feels a connection with the family, and Gina’s disappearance has the whole area talking.”
Anthony Castro also mentioned Amanda Berry in his article, saying: “They feel the disappearance of Amanda Berry on April 21, 2003, was a wake-up call, but Gina’s case really caught everyone’s attention.”
He had no idea the answer to her whereabouts, and that of two other local girls, lay in his father’s house, which he said he was never allowed inside.
Anthony Castro said: “I last saw my dad two weeks ago, it was at the house, but he didn’t let me in.
“He never did. I was never invited inside. The last time was several years ago and even then it was for about 20 minutes.
“If I had known anything about this, there is no way I could have not done something about it. I wrote about it ten years ago and now it is so close to my family. It’s unbelievable.
“I can express nothing but shame for our family. It is just beyond anything that we can speak about. It’s just a nightmare. I feel unspeakably horrible for the victims.”
It also emerged today that Anthony Castro’s sister Emily was jailed for 25 years in 2008 for the attempted murder of her 11-month-old baby.
Emily Castro, 24, tried to slash her daughter Janyla’s throat in April 2007 after she broke up with the child’s father.
Court documents state that police were called to Emily Castro’s home in Fort Wayne, Indiana – where she moved after she became pregnant – when a passerby saw a woman running out to the street with a bleeding baby in her arms.
The woman was Emily Castro’s mother, Grimilda Figeroa, who told police that her daughter stabbed her own child.
When officers went to the home, they found Emily Castro covered in mud, water and blood.
Emily and Anthony’s father Ariel Castro, 52, was arrested on Monday after one of his alleged victims, Amanda Berry, escaped his home and called police.
Neighbors in the street were shocked to hear that Ariel Castro, who was a school bus driver in the Cleveland area until last year, could be capable of abducting three innocent teenagers from the street and tying them up with chains in his basement.
Ariel Castro’s Facebook page depicts a man with a passion for motorcycles and the bass guitar.
Ohio authorities have released pictures of the three Castro brothers arrested after three missing women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – were found at a Cleveland home where they had allegedly been held captive for a decade.
The mugshots of Ariel Castro, 52, who owned the property, and his brothers Onil, 50, and Pedro, 54, emerged as police sources claimed the women reportedly had multiple pregnancies at the home.
At least five babies were born at the house, while one of the victims, Amanda Berry, suffered as many as three miscarriages because she was so malnourished, police sources told NewsChannel5.
Ariel Castro and his brothers Onil and Pedro were arrested for kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight a decade ago
Other sources told WKYC that the captors would beat the women when they were pregnant, meaning that the babies would not survive.
It is unknown what happened to any children who were born at the home, and it is not clear whether a 6-year-old girl who was found alive there on Monday is among the number cited by sources.
The girl was found after her mother, kidnap victim Amanda Berry, 26, climbed through a screen door on Monday afternoon while her alleged captor was out and fled to a neighbor’s home to call 911.
When police arrived minutes later, they found Gina DeJesus, 23, and Michele Knight, 32, who had also been missing for a decade, along with the young girl.
At the press conference, authorities confirmed that the little girl was born to Amanda Berry while she was in captivity, but it is not known which of the three suspects – if any – is the father.
Today police praised Amanda Berry, who went missing a day before her 17th birthday in 2003, for escaping and alerting authorities to the two other women at the home.
“The real hero here is Amanda,” Cleveland Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba said at a press conference on Tuesday morning.
“She came out of that house and that started it all.”
Three young women – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight – who vanished in separate incidents about a decade ago in Ohio have been found alive in a house in Cleveland.
Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in 2003, Gina DeJesus went missing aged 14 in 2004, and Michele Knight disappeared in 2002 aged around 19.
Their discovery followed a dramatic bid for freedom by Amanda Berry on Monday, helped by a neighbor.
Three brothers have been arrested in connection with the case.
Cleveland police said the suspects are Hispanic, aged 50, 52 and 54, and one of them had lived at the house on Seymour Avenue.
One was named as Ariel Castro, who has worked as a school bus driver.
Police have said a six-year-old girl was also found at the home. They have not revealed any further details, although a relative of Amanda Berry said she told him she had a daughter.
The girls’ family reacted with shock and delight at news of their discovery, and many people gathered outside the home where they had allegedly been imprisoned.
“In all this time, 10 years, nobody never figured nothing about where she was at and this has come to an end and it’s right here on Seymour,” said Gina DeJesus’ uncle.
A doctor said the three women were in a fair condition and were being kept in hospital for observation.
“This isn’t the ending we usually hear to these stories,” said Dr. Gerald Maloney in a brief news conference outside Metro Health hospital in Cleveland.
“We’re very happy.”
Speaking amid cheers from spectators, he added the women were able to speak to hospital staff but he declined to give further details.
The disappearances of Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus had been big news in Cleveland, and many had assumed them to be dead.
Little was made of the disappearance of Michelle Knight, who was older than the other two girls.
Her grandmother, Deborah Knight, was quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper on Monday as saying that the authorities concluded she had run away.
The dramatic events unfolded after Amanda Berry attempted to flee the house when her alleged captor went out.
Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in 2003, Gina DeJesus went missing aged 14 in 2004
Neighbor Charles Ramsey said he heard screaming.
“I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” he told reporters.
He said he suggested the woman open the door and exit, but she told him it was locked.
“We had to kick open the bottom,” he said.
“Lucky on that door it was aluminium. It was cheap. She climbed out with her daughter.”
Both Charles Ramsey and Amanda Berry called 911.
In her frantic call, released to the news media, Amanda Berry told the operator: “I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been kidnapped. I’ve been missing for 10 years. I’m free. I’m here now.”
She identified her kidnapper as Ariel Castro and said other women were in the house.
Charles Ramsey said he was stunned by the developments. He said he had shared barbeques with Ariel Castro and never suspected a thing.
“There was nothing exciting about him… well, until today,” he said.
Amanda Berry at the Cleveland Hospital alongside her sister and the daughter that she gave birth to during the 10 years she was held against her will
An uncle, Julio Castro, who has a shop nearby, confirmed his nephew had been arrested, and said Ariel Castro had worked as a school bus driver. The Cleveland school district confirmed he worked for them, but did not give specifics.
“I am thankful that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight have been found alive,” Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said.
“We have many unanswered questions regarding this case and the investigation will be ongoing.”
Amanda Berry was last heard from when she called her sister on 21 April 2003 to say she would get a lift home from work at a Burger King restaurant.
In 2004, Gina DeJesus was said to be on her way home from school when she went missing.
Their cases were re-opened last year when a prison inmate tipped off authorities that Amanda Berry may have been buried in Cleveland. He received a four-and-a-half-year sentence in prison for the false information.
Amanda Berry’s mother, Louwana, died in March 2006, three years after her daughter’s disappearance.
Although much is still not yet known about this case, it recalled a series of recent high-profile child abduction cases.
Jaycee Lee Dugard was 11 years old when she was dragged into a car as she walked to a bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe, California in 1991.
She was discovered in August 2009, having spent 18 years held captive in the backyard of Phillip and Nancy Garrido in Antioch, some 170 miles from South Lake Tahoe. She had two children.
In Austria, Natascha Kampusch was abducted on her way to school at the age of 10. She was held for eight years by Wolfgang Priklopil in the windowless basement of a house in a quiet suburb of Vienna.
She managed to escape in 2006 while Wolfgang Priklopil was making a phone call. He committed suicide hours after she had fled.
Elizabeth Smart was 14 when she was taken from the bedroom of her Utah home in June 2002 and repeatedly raped during nine months of captivity.
She was rescued in March 2003 less than 20 miles from her home. Her abductor, Brian David Mitchell, was jailed for life in 2011.