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Cleveland officials hail bravery of missing women

Police have praised the bravery of three women found alive on Monday evening in a house in Cleveland, Ohio, after they vanished about a decade ago.

Amanda Berry, who disappeared in 2003 aged 16, escaped with a neighbour’s help while her alleged captor was away.

Gina DeJesus, who went missing aged 14 a year later, and Michelle Knight, who vanished in 2002 aged about 19, were also rescued from the property.

A school bus driver 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 Ms Berry, Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told a news conference.

‘Tied up’

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.

He vowed prosecutors would “bring the full weight of justice” on those responsible in the “horrific case”.

School bus driver Ariel Castro, 52, and his two brothers, Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, have been taken into custody.

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.

Ms Berry, now 27, escaped on Monday evening when a neighbour 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 Ms Berry could climb outside.

In a recording of Monday’s emergency call, she says: “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here. I’m free now.”

Read full story on BBC News

Category: World News |

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Last updated March 25, 2017 at 5:40 PM
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