Three missing women found alive in Cleveland after 10 years
Amanda Berry disappeared aged 16 in April 2003, and DeJesus went missing at age 14 about a year later. Photograph: Reuters
Three women who went missing about a decade ago were found alive Monday in a residential area just south of downtown, within a few miles of where they disappeared.
Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found earlier in the day.
Berry told police in a 911 call that she was kidnapped but is "free now". On a recorded call to the police emergency dispatcher, Berry said she had been taken by someone, and pleaded for police officers to arrive at the home on Cleveland's west side before he returned.
She told the dispatcher: "I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years. And I'm here. I'm free now."
Berry, Gina DeJesus and Knight were taken to Metrohealth Medical Center in Cleveland where they were due to be reunitd with relatives. Doctors said they were in a "fair condition" and were being assessed by hospital staff.
Dr Gerald Maloney, an emergency department physician at the hospital, told reporters: "We're in the process of evaluating their medical needs. They appear to be in a fair condition at the moment. They are able to speak with us. Beyond that I can't really go into any further details," he said.
Police said a 52-year-old man was arrested, but there was no immediate word on charges. A news conference was announced for Tuesday.
Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King fast food restaurant. DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later.
In January, a prison inmate was sentenced to four and half years after admitting he provided a false burial tip in the disappearance of Berry, who had last been seen the day before her 17th birthday. A judge in Cleveland sentenced Robert Wolford on his guilty plea to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm.
Last summer, Wolford tipped authorities to look for Berry's remains in a Cleveland lot. He was taken to the location, which was dug up with backhoes.
Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in March 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.
Two men arrested for questioning in the disappearance of DeJesus in 2004 were released from the city jail in 2006 after officers did not find her body during a search of the men's house.
One of the men was transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail on unrelated charges, while the other was allowed to go free, police said.
In September 2006, police acting on a tip tore up the concrete floor of the garage and used a cadaver dog to search unsuccessfully for DeJesus' body.
No special alert was issued the day DeJesus failed to return home from school in April 2004 because no one witnessed her abduction. The lack of an alert angered her father, Felix DeJesus, who said in 2006 he believed the public will listen even if the alerts become routine.
Police said Knight was 20 when she went missing around 2000.