Amanda Berry, captive for a decade, arrives home to family embrace

Woman, now 27, is the mother of a 6-year-old girl who was born in captivity.
MCT Regional News
May 8, 2013

Amanda Berry, one of the three women who was kidnapped and held prisoner for about a decade in a Cleveland house, returned to the embrace of her family on Wednesday.

Berry, now 27, arrived at her sister Beth Serrano’s Cleveland home, several miles from the house on Seymour Avenue where Berry, her 6-year-old daughter and two other women were imprisoned.

Yellow ribbons were tied to the trees and the front of the house was festooned with balloons, stuffed animals and a huge banner proclaiming: “WELCOME HOME AMANDA.”

Berry and her family entered through a back door, away from a media horde outside the home and moments later her sister came forward. Serrano said the family appreciates all of the support it has received, but asked for privacy to deal with the return of Berry and her daughter.

“I just want to say we are so happy to have Amanda and her daughter home,” Serrano told the more than 100 neighbors and journalists. “At this time our family would request privacy so my sister, my niece and I have time to recover.

“Please respect our privacy until we are ready to make our statement and thank you,” she said.

Berry was hailed for breaking through the screen door of the house where she and Georgina DeJesus, 23, and Michelle Knight, 32, were being held. After getting out, Berry used a neighbor’s cellphone to contact police.

The three women were separately kidnapped about a year apart, beginning in 2002.

Three brothers, Ariel Castro, 52, Pedro Castro, 54, and Onil Castro, 50, have been arrested in the case.

On Wednesday, Ariel Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape. His brothers were not charged in connection with the disappearances. However, they face outstanding warrants on misdemeanor charges.

Ariel Castro, a former school bus driver, has been identified as the owner of the house on Seymour Avenue where the women were kept.

Neighbor Carmen Santiago, 34, brought her young son, who was wearing a Superman uniform, to the homecoming.

“We’ve always been hoping for them to get home. The parents did a good job; we never forgot them,” she said.

Debbie Cuevas, who lives a few blocks away, drove down to witness the arrival.

“It’s so many mixed emotions. It’s great news, and then you think about how long she was gone, all the things she missed out on,” said Cuevas, 50.

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By Alana Semuels and Michael Muskal - Los Angeles Times (MCT) (Semuels reported from Cleveland, Muskal from Los Angeles.)

©2013 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

gene44870

Yje city of Cleeland just recieved a great gift and that is the safe return of three women to the city State and country
No thanks to the Cleveland Poilce , but to the guy next door that heard the call for help and acted on it
The only thing is that this is a real shame that this happened and one can only hope that it never will happen again . and pray that it wont
These women that were saved are going to have scares that are never going to heal and some that will, but with help and prayers they will learn to live with this
My prayers is that one , I thanks god that they are safe back with their families
Two , that they will be able to live normal lives and be able to put this behind them and look to the future they now have .
Three , that the one thats responsable is place somewhere , where he will never be able to do this again and he is placed in chains and tied like he did these women
Congrats to all the girls and their new found freedom and Pray to god and thank him for the guy that took action