Three Kidnapped Women Free After Decade in Captivity
The first image of a beaming Amanda Berry, free at last, 10 years after she was kidnapped has been released. In the image, Amanda's sister is on the left and on the right is Amanda’s six-year-old daughter, born during her captivity.
Her 911 call has stunned the nation, "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here, I'm free now."
In her 911 call she said, “I'm Amanda Berry. I've been on the news for the last 10 years.”
The house of horrors in Cleveland is where Amanda and two other women were imprisoned for a decade.
Amanda Berry crawled her way to freedom by climbing out of a front door and bravely and courageously ran across the street screaming, "Help! Help! Call the police!"
She arrived on a porch where a neighbor handed her this phone and she called 911.
Amanda: “Hello police! Help me! I'm Amanda Berry.”
911 operator: “Do you need police, fire or ambulance?”
Amanda: “I need police.”
911 operator: “Ok, and what's going on there?”
Amanda: “I've been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years and I’m here, I’m free now.”
You can hear the fear in Amanda’s voice when the 911 operator tells her to hang tight.
911 operator: “We're going to send them as soon as we get a car open.”
Amanda: “No, I need them now before he gets back.”
When police rushed to the scene, they found Amanda holding onto her daughter. She told them two other women, also missing for over a decade, were still inside the house. They'd all been tied up, but Amanda broke free.
Ed Tomba, Chief of Police in Cleveland said at a press conference, "The real hero is Amanda, she is the real hero, she got this rolling."
Amanda was 16 years old when she disappeared on the eve of her birthday in 2003. She's now 27.
Just last week, Amanda’s family held a vigil for her to remind everyone she was still missing.
Also being kept captive was Gina DeJesus, who was 14 years old when she vanished in 2004 on her way home from middle school. She's now 23. Her aunt says her prayers have been answered.
The third woman is Michelle Knight. No picture is available of her. She was 21 when she went missing in 2002, she's now 32.
The house where the missing women were found is just a few miles from the three locations where they were abducted.
The astonishing story of their daring escape began just before 6 p.m. Monday, when a neighbor, Charles Ramsey, heard frantic screams coming from the house.
Ramsey said, "I looked and I see this girl, and she is just going nuts on the door. So I am like, 'What is your problem? You stuck? Just open the door.' She said 'I can't, he got it locked.'"
With Amanda’s help, he tried to pry the door open. Then he kicked out the bottom and Amanda ran out, carrying her little girl in her arms.
Ramsey said, "They looked like they had not been fed for a long time, bro. A long time."
A mugshot of 52-year-old retired school bus driver Ariel Castro has been released, he is now under arrest for kidnapping along with his two brothers.
Emotion was joyous outside the hospital where the three women were taken. Cheers rang out as a miracle was being witnessed.
One person not there was Amanda's mother. She died in 2006, it's said, from a broken heart, mourning her lost daughter who has now, incredibly, been found alive.