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Kidnapping survivor Gina DeJesus to speak tonight

By Caitlin Nearhood • May 1, 2019 at 3:00 PM

HURON — Cleveland abduction survivor Gina DeJesus and her cousin, Sylvia Colon, are among the speakers on a panel at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at BGSU Firelands’ Cedar Point Center. The event is free and open to the public.

DeJesus, 29, along with Michelle Knight and Amanda Berry, were abducted, held captive and abused in a Cleveland home for about a decade before escaping in 2013.

In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts in 2015, DeJesus and Berry described the escape. At one point, after police stormed into the residence, DeJesus and Knight thought their captor, Ariel Castro, returned.

“I’m like, ‘Oh, we’re next. He’s coming for us, so close the door,’” DeJesus told Roberts. “It didn’t get that much closed ‘cause they yelled, ‘Police!’ And then, she, like, Michelle swings the door open and just runs out there and hugs them.”

During Wednesday’s event, DeJesus will share her story, including the moments that gave her hope during her years in captivity and Colon will discuss the traumatic event from the family’s perspective. They will share the inspiration behind the victims’ response team they formed to help families cope when a loved one is abducted or goes missing.

Also that evening, presentations will be given by Newburgh Heights police Chief John Majoy, chairman of the Northeast Ohio AMBER Alert Committee and Christopher Minek, supervisor of the Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System, about the types of missing person alerts used in Ohio, including AMBER, Endangered Missing and Missing Adult.

Want to go?

What: A panel discussion featuring Gina DeJesus and Sylvia Colon

When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday

Where: BGSU Firelands, 1 University Drive, Huron

Cost: Free

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