A Cleveland Resurrection
Kidnap Victims Found Alive
Years of grief and despair were wiped away in a single stroke Monday when three young women emerged from a house on Cleveland’s Seymour Avenue after nearly a decade of captivity. Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry and Michelle Knight told police they were held captive at the home of Ariel Castro, who’s been charged with kidnapping and rape and is held under $8 million bond. Berry’s six year old daughter was born in the house and was found with the women. All were checked by doctors and released from the hospital, although Knight later returned with an unspecified complaint.
The women told police they were held in the basement in the early years of their confinement; later allowed access to the rest of the house. Neighbors claim to have caught glimpses of the victims during their captivity, but police say there’s no record of citizen complaints to that effect. Detectives have searched the house and have found no human remains.
The women have been reunited with their joyous families. Ariel Castro’s two brothers, arrested with him, will not be charged in the case, police say.
Newsmaker: Matt Zone, Cleveland City Councilman
Zone’s 15th Ward has been the epicenter of much of the concern about this case since the disappearance of Gina DeJesus in 2004. The DeJesus family lives in his ward and worked from the day of the kidnapping, with Zone at their side, to keep Gina in the public consciousness.
Special Guest: Norah C. Feeny, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Case Western Reserve University
Being held captive is a nightmare that would challenge the strongest person. Mr. Feagler will talk to the psychologist about what impact the ordeal might have on the women’s future.
Roundtable: Greg Saber, freelance journalist; Leila Atassi, reporter, The Plain Dealer; Nick Castele, reporter, ideastream. All spent the week reporting the story.