(WNN) Cleveland, Ohio, UNITED STATES, AMERICAS: More information is being revealed as many questions continue in the case of three women who were kidnapped and kept against their will for ten years in what some neighbors have called an ‘unsuspected’ rundown home in a west side Cleveland, Ohio neighborhood.
27-year-old Amanda Berry, 23-year-old Gina DeJesus and 32-year-old Michelle Knight and a 6-year-old daughter of Berry were rescued after a neighbor walking by, Charles Ramsey, heard screaming coming from the house.
“I heard screaming… …And I see this girl going nuts trying to get outside,” said Charles Ramsey. “I go on the porch and she said ‘Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time’. I figure[d] it was domestic violence dispute,” continued Ramsey. “She comes out with a little girl and says ‘Call 911, my name is Amanda Berry’. When she told me, it didn’t register,” added Ramsey who helped kick down an aluminum front door enabling Amanda, dressed in pajamas, and her daughter to get outside.
Once outside Ramsey took Amanda quickly away from the home so she could make a 911 call to the police.
“She climbed out with her daughter… …She went to my house, we called 911,” outlined Ramsey to the media.
In a chilling phone call explaining she had been kidnapped ten years ago Amanda asked for the police to “come quick.” She also said her captor was Ariel Castro who had just stepped out to get a meal. In the time Castro was gone, Amanda had managed to alert Ramsey, who was walking by, to her struggle.
Although the dispatcher for the 911 call failed to stay on the line with Amanda after she made her emergency plea to the police, police were said to be on scene at the home in what Cleveland Department of Public Safety Director Martin Flask described as “less than 2 minutes.”
Asking Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath if he knew about any other reported calls made to police by neighbors before the rescue, NBC news Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie also asked the Chief if he believed the police had done everything they could do during the history of the missing women’s cases.
“I do, we checked our record managing system…& we have no record of those calls coming in,” conveyed Chief McGrath. “When these girls disappeared…it was a unified effort to solve this case,” continued Chief McGrath.
The owner of the home Ariel Castro, along with two brothers were arrested and brought in for questioning following the rescue. Ariel Castro is known in the neighborhood as a former school bus driver, but neighbors say they had no idea the home was used as a prison for the women and child who lived there. Questioning by the FBI is currently ongoing in a case that is now implicating torture and rape of the women who were captured.
In an amazing stroke of coincidence following the rescue former abductee and missing children’s advocate Jaycee Lee Dugard spoke about the courage and hope for those abducted at the Hope Awards, sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at a pre-scheduled gala in Washington, D.C. last night.
“What an amazing time to be talking about hope, with everything that’s happening,” outlined Dugard to the audience at the Hope Awards gala in D.C.
“Keep hope alive” is known publicly as an important mantra for Jaycee who was captured by her own abductors at the age of 11 for 18 years beginning on June 10, 1991, in South Lake Tahoe, California.
Trapped and kept in an outside shed by married couple Phillip and Nancy Garrido, Jaycee was rescued by police when suspicious public behavior by Phillip Garrido caused him to be taken to the Lake Tahoe police station in August 2009. In June 2, 2011, Phillip Garrido was sentenced in court to 431 years imprisonment. Nancy Garrido received 36 years to life.
Police negligence to follow up on a number of public reports made to police over years that may have resulted in a rescue for Jaycee’s case was revealed after her rescue from captivity. Approving a $20 million settlement with Jaycee Dugard, the State of California compensated her for “various lapses by the Corrections Department” in July 2010.
“Hard to believe that story is me,” she continued. “It’s not been easy…I feel like I’ve come full circle,” she added. “I’m so thankful for the team that supported me these last few years.”
Jaycee’s mother, Terry Probyn, also spoke at the Hope Awards gala sharing her own gratefulness and relief for the women who were rescued in Cleveland.
“Another miracle happened yesterday, and three girls are alive, and I feel the same relief and joy that I felt when Jaycee was returned to me after 18 hellish years,” said Probyn only days before Mother’s Day will be celebrated in many homes in the United States.
Three brothers Ariel Castro, 52; Pedro Castro, 54; and Onil Castro, 50 are now facing charges connected to the crimes. Ariel Castro lived in the house on Seymour Avenue; Pedro and Onil Castro lived together a few blocks away.
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