Three missing women who were reportedly kept tied up in the basement of a suburban Ohio home for almost 10 years were rescued Monday after one of them escaped to a neighbor's house and called police. Three brothers in their 50s have been arrested in connection to the alleged kidnapping.
Amanda Berry, 27, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and a 6-year-old child who police said Berry gave birth to while in captivity were all taken to a Cleveland hospital to be evaluated Monday, though they all appeared to be in good health. The three women had been in their teens or early 20s when they were abducted separately
between 2002 and 2004.
Police responded to a 911 call Monday from a breathless woman who told the operator she was Amanda Berry, the girl who had gone missing in April 2003 and was widely believed to be dead. Berry identified her captor as Ariel Castro, 52, a school bus driver in the Cleveland area up until last November.
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"Help me. I'm Amanda Berry. I've been on the news for the last 10 years," she told a 911 dispatcher. "I've been kidnapped and I've been missing for 10 years and I'm here, I'm free now."
Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath told reporters Berry, DeJesus, and Knight were kept tied up at the house for almost a decade.
The rescue started Monday around 6 p.m. when a neighbor heard screams coming from the two-story house. Anna Tejeda, 50, said she had been sitting on her porch with friends when they heard someone across the street kicking a door.
One of Tejeda's friends went over to help and told the woman, who was Berry, how to kick the screen out of the bottom of the door, which allowed her to get out. Tejeda reportedly gave Berry, who was shaking and crying, a phone to call police.
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Berry disappeared at age 16 in 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. About a year later, DeJesus vanished at age 14 on her way home from school. Police said Knight disappeared in 2002.
Police said Castro owned the home and that his brothers who were also arrested lived elsewhere.
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