Amanda Berry was last seen after finishing her shift at a Burger King in Cleveland in 2003. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.
Georgina “Gina” DeJesus disappeared nearly a year later, in April 2004. She was 14.
Michele Knight vanished in 2002, at age 19, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.
But all three were found alive in a home in a Cleveland neighborhood Monday night, police announced in a development hailed as a miracle by their families.
“Help me, I am Amanda Berry,” the young woman told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor’s house. “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here, I’m free now.”
Police swiftly moved in on the house where the three women said they had been held and later arrested a 52-year-old man, identified as a former school bus driver. Two others, identified as his brothers, ages 50 and 54, also have been arrested, Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba told reporters late Monday. Police believe only the middle brother lived at the home, he said.
The men are being held in the city jail awaiting charges. An FBI team is collecting evidence in the house.
“This is a great, great outcome that we have them still with us,” Tomba said. “It’s just truly, truly amazing and it’s a blessing to the community and to the members of the police department and their families that they’re alive. I can’t tell you how happy we are.”
Those feelings were echoed at Cleveland’s Metro Health Medical Center where the three women and a fourth person were treated before being released Tuesday morning.
“This isn’t the ending we usually hear to these stories, so we’re very happy,” said Dr. Gerald Maloney, an emergency room physician there. “We’re very happy for them.”
A fourth person had been treated at the hospital. Maloney would not identify that person, but witnesses said Berry, who escaped from the house with the help of a neighbor, had a young child with her.
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