Great survivors: Freedom at last for women abducted and held for decade

Balloons fly outside the home of Gina DeJesus
Balloons fly outside the home of Gina DeJesus
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EMOTIONAL reunions were underway last night as three kidnapped women embraced the families they were snatched away from a decade ago.

Loved ones of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight never gave up hope they might still be alive after they vanished in Cleveland, Ohio, between 2002 and 2004. Their prayers were 
finally answered when Miss Berry escaped from the house in which they had been held captive to raise the alarm on Monday.

The property’s owner, Ariel Castro, 52, and his brothers Pedro, 54, and Onil, 50, have been arrested.

Miss Berry, now 27, was pictured smiling later in hospital, hugging her weeping sister Beth and the six-year-old daughter to whom she gave birth during her ordeal. Her mother, Louwana Miller, did not live to see her again, dying in 2006 “of a broken heart”, friends said.

Praising the women’s strength, Miss DeJesus’s aunt Sandra Ruiz said: “What we’ve done in 10 years is nothing compared to what those women have done in 10 years to survive.”