Amanda Berry tells relatives she's fine, a 6-year-old freed is her daughter
A brother says Gina DeJesus "liked to dance a lot, crack jokes"
Michelle Knight, now 32, was reported missing in 2002
All 3 were allegedly held captive until Monday inside a Cleveland home
When Amanda Berry screamed Monday evening for help through a crack in the front door of the house where she was being held, she set in motion an end to roughly a decade of captivity for herself and two other women.
Berry’s case had been publicized through the years, and when Georgina DeJesus was reported missing, her case, too, became known to the public. Little has been reported about the case of Michelle Knight.
According to Cleveland’s MetroHealth Medical Center, all three women were seen in the hospital’s emergency room Monday night and had been released as of Tuesday morning.
What had happened to them – physically, emotionally, mentally – in the years before, though, largely remains a mystery.
Here’s more information about Berry, DeJesus and Knight and their disappearances:
Age: 16 when she was reported missing; now, 27.
Missing since: April 21, 2003
Last seen: walking home from a job at Burger King a few blocks from her home about 7:40 p.m., according to the FBI. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.
Clues: She called her sister to tell her she was getting a ride home, CNN affiliate WJW reported.
Appearance: The FBI missing person poster described her as 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 105 pounds.
Law enforcement action: The FBI had 10 postings on its website about her disappearance and offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information about her whereabouts.
Family reaction: It was a call she’d been waiting a decade for.
On one end was Fern Gentry, on the other was her granddaughter Amanda Berry – whom she’d last seen as a teenager but, as the grandmother told her in that long-awaited phone call, she, “never forgot.”
“Grandma, I’m fine,” Berry said, according to a call recorded by CNN affiliate WJHL.
On the call, Berry also said that the 6-year-old girl also freed Monday was her own daughter. Relatives in Tennessee, like Gentry, were eager to meet her and reunite with Berry.
“I never thought we’d see this day,” said Crystal Milton, a cousin of the once-missing girl.
Georgina ‘Gina’ DeJesus
Age: 14 when she was reported missing; now, 23.
Missing since: April 2, 2004
Last seen: at a pay phone around 3 p.m. as she was walking home from school. The girl and a friend had called the friend’s mother seeking permission for a sleepover at DeJesus’ house, but the answer was no.
Appearance: The FBI missing person poster described her as 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds.
Law enforcement action: The FBI, which mentions her in eight documents on its website, was offering an unspecified reward for information leading to her recovery.
Family reaction: The Cleveland hospital room was crowded – with about 200 people, not to mention balloons and stuffed animals. And at the center of it all was Gina DeJesus.
“I thought it was a dream,” Ricardo DeJesus said of his sister being found. “I’m glad it’s reality.”
Asked what kind of person his sister had been, he said, “She liked to dance a lot, crack jokes and be with the family.”
Though she is now an adult, he said, he plans to keep a closer eye on Georgina than before. “I’m gonna sit there and make sure that she gets there and back home, be more protective.”
A sister, Mayra DeJesus, said Gina spent Tuesday with her family – with the focus on her, but not so much what she’d gone through. She described Gina as in “good spirits.”
The long missing woman’s aunt, Sandra Ruiz, told reporters that her recovery shows that anything is possible.
“If you don’t believe in miracles,” Ruiz said, “I suggest you think again, because it does happen.”
Age: 21 when she was reported missing; now 32, according to the Cleveland Police Department.
Missing since: August 22, 2002, said Martin Flask, director of public safety for the police; a missing person report was filed the next day.
Clues: Knight’s grandmother, Deborah Knight, told The Plain Dealer on Monday that the family had concluded that Michelle had left of her own accord because she was angry that she had lost custody of her son. That conclusion was supported by police and social workers, she told the newspaper.
But the missing woman’s mother, Barbara Knight, told the newspaper that her daughter would never have broken all contact voluntarily.
Barbara Knight moved to Naples, Florida, about a year and a half ago, her neighbor Sheldon Gofberg told CNN.
But even after her move, Barbara Knight told The Plain Dealer that she often returned to Cleveland’s West Side to search for her daughter, putting up posters seeking information about her.
She said she thinks she saw her daughter and an older man walking together at a shopping plaza several years ago, but the woman did not respond when she called Michelle’s name.
Law enforcement action: The FBI website makes no mention of her.