CLEVELAND, OH – When Amanda Berry screamed Monday evening for help through a crack in the front door of the house where she was being held, she set in motion an end to roughly a decade of captivity for herself and two other women.
Berry’s case had been publicized through the years, and when Georgina DeJesus was reported missing, her case, too, became known to the public. Little has been reported about the case of Michelle Knight.
Here’s more information about them and their disappearances:
Missing since: August 22, 2002, said Martin Flask, director of public safety for the police; a missing person report was filed the next day.
Law enforcement response: The FBI website makes no mention of her.
Knight’s grandmother, Deborah Knight, told The Plain Dealer on Monday that the family concluded that Michelle had left of her own accord because she was angry that she had lost custody of her son. That conclusion was supported by police and social workers, she told the newspaper.
But the missing woman’s mother, Barbara Knight, told the newspaper that her daughter would never have broken all contact voluntarily.
Though she moved to Florida, Barbara Knight said she often returned to Cleveland’s West Side to search for her daughter, putting up posters seeking information about her, the newspaper said.
She said she thinks she saw her daughter and an older man walking together at a shopping plaza several years ago, but the woman did not respond when she called Michelle’s name.
The two women, neither of whom CNN was able to contact Tuesday, said Monday night they had not heard from police and were following the news about their daughter and granddaughter via the media.
Age: 16 when she was reported missing; now, 27.
Missing since: April 21, 2003
Last seen: walking home from a job at Burger King a few blocks from her home about 7:40 p.m., according to the FBI. It was the eve of her 17th birthday.
Clues: She called her sister to tell her she was getting a ride home, CNN affiliate WJW reported.
Appearance: The FBI missing person poster identified her as 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 105 pounds.
Law enforcement action: The FBI had 10 postings on its website about her disappearance and offered a reward of up to $25,000 for information about her whereabouts.
Georgina ‘Gina’ DeJesus
Age: 14 when she was reported missing; now, 23.
Missing since: April 2, 2004
Last seen: at a pay phone around 3 p.m. as she was walking home from school. The girl and a friend had called the friend’s mother seeking permission for a sleepover at DeJesus’ house, but the answer was no.
Appearance: The FBI missing person poster identified her as 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds.
Law enforcement response: The FBI, which mentions her in eight documents on its website, was offering an unspecified reward for information leading to her recovery.
Family reaction: Ricardo DeJesus told CNN that his family had known Ariel Castro, one of the three brothers suspected in the abductions, but he hadn’t seen him for a decade or so, and had not linked him to his sister’s disappearance.
“We all knew him,” he told CNN’s Poppy Harlow. “My dad sat there and bought a car from him years back.”
But the suspects were not on his mind Monday night, when about 200 people visited Georgina DeJesus in her hospital room, filling it with balloons and stuffed animals, Ricardo said. “I thought it was a dream,” he said. “I’m glad it’s reality.”
He described his parents as “ecstatic.”
Asked what kind of person his sister had been, he said, “She liked to dance a lot, crack jokes and be with the family.”
About the return of his sibling, 10 years his junior, he said, “Left a teenager, came back a woman.”
Though she is now an adult, he said, he plans to keep a closer eye on Georgina than before. “I’m gonna sit there and make sure that she gets there and back home, be more protective.”
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