Cleveland officials and local lawyers are working to support Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus amid a deluge of international attention. ideastream's Nick Castele reports they're raising money for the women and asking media and the public to respect their privacy.
Early Sunday in downtown Cleveland, law enforcement and attorneys addressed reporters nearly a week after Berry, DeJesus and Knight were freed from captivity in a west side home.
Reading from a statement, attorney Jim Wooley said the women are grateful for support from the public and from the police, and now would like space.
WOOLEY: "Ms. Berry, Ms. DeJesus and Ms. Knight have asked -- in fact, have pleaded -- for privacy at this time so that they can continue to heal and reconnect with the families and their lives."
He also read short statements from each of the three women.
"Thank you so much for everything you’re doing and continue to do. I am so happy to be home with my family," Berry said in her statement.
Gina DeJesus said in her statement, "I’m so happy to be home. I want to thank everybody for all your prayers. I just want time now to be with my family."
"Thank you to everyone for your support and good wishes," Michelle Knight said in hers. "I am healthy, happy and safe and will reach out to family, friends and supporters in good time."
All three were released Tuesday from MetroHealth Medical Center. Berry and DeJesus have returned to their families. Knight returned to Metro Health and was released Friday to an undisclosed location.
Some members of city council have set up a charitable fund with the Cleveland Foundation and Key Bank. Councilman Brian Cummins became emotional on Saturday describing the support the women have received.
CUMMINS: "The outpouring of the public has just been incredible. And I can only imagine. We're having a difficult time dealing with this."
Cummins says as of Friday the fund had raised $50,000.