Missing woman found at Ohio home: 'I'm free now' - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Missing woman found at Ohio home: 'I'm free now'

Posted: Updated:

CLEVELAND (AP) - Three women who went missing separately about a decade ago, when they were in their teens or early 20s, were found alive Monday in a residential area just south of downtown, and a man was arrested.

One of the women told a 911 dispatcher the person who had taken her was gone, and she pleaded for police officers to come and get her, saying, "I'm free now."

Click here to listen to Berry's call to 9-1-1.
    
Cheering crowds gathered Monday night on the street near the home where police said Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight were found earlier in the day.
    
Police didn't immediately provide any details of how the women were found but said they appeared to be in good health and had been taken to a hospital to be reunited with relatives and for evaluation.
    
On a recorded 911 call Monday, Berry said she had been taken by someone and pleaded for police officers to arrive at the home on Cleveland's west side before he returned.
    
"I've been kidnapped, and I've been missing for 10 years," she told the dispatcher. "And I'm here. I'm free now."
    
Berry disappeared at age 16 on April 21, 2003, when she called her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. DeJesus went missing at age 14 on her way home from school about a year later. They were found just a few miles from where they had gone missing.
    
Police said Knight was 20 when she went missing around 2000.
    
Police said a 52-year-old man was arrested. There was no immediate word on charges.
    
Loved ones said they hadn't given up hope of seeing the women again. Among them was Kayla Rogers, a childhood friend of DeJesus.
    
"I've been praying, never forgot about her, ever," Rogers told The Plain Dealer newspaper. "This is amazing. This is a celebration. I'm so happy. I just want to see her walk out of those doors so I can hug her."
    
Berry's cousin Tasheena Mitchell told the newspaper she couldn't wait to have Berry in her arms.
    
"I'm going to hold her, and I'm going to squeeze her and I probably won't let her go," she said.
    
Berry's mother, Louwana Miller, who had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments, died in March 2006. She had spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated, family and friends said.
    
Mayor Frank Jackson expressed gratitude that the three women were found alive.
    
"We have many unanswered questions regarding this case, and the investigation will be ongoing," he said in a statement.
    
At Metro Health Medical Center, Dr. Gerald Maloney declined to go into details about the women's conditions.
    
"We're assessing their needs, and the appropriate specialists are evaluating them as well," he said at a news conference, which concluded with a round of applause from a large gathering of area residents.
    
In January, a prison inmate was sentenced to 4 1/2 years after admitting he provided a false burial tip in the disappearance of Berry, who had last been seen the day before her 17th birthday. A judge in Cleveland sentenced Robert Wolford on his guilty plea to obstruction of justice, making a false report and making a false alarm.
    
Last summer, Wolford tipped authorities to look for Berry's remains in a Cleveland lot. He was taken to the location, which was dug up with backhoes.
    
Two men arrested for questioning in the disappearance of DeJesus in 2004 were released from the city jail in 2006 after officers did not find her body during a search of the men's house.
    
One of the men was transferred to the Cuyahoga County Jail on unrelated charges, while the other was allowed to go free, police said.
    
In September 2006, police acting on a tip tore up the concrete floor of the garage and used a cadaver dog to search unsuccessfully for DeJesus' body. Investigators confiscated 19 pieces of evidence during their search but declined to comment on the significance of the items then.
    
No Amber Alert was issued the day DeJesus failed to return home from school in April 2004 because no one witnessed her abduction. The lack of an Amber Alert angered her father, Felix DeJesus, who said in 2006 he believed the public will listen even if the alerts become routine.
    
"The Amber Alert should work for any missing child," Felix DeJesus said then. "It doesn't have to be an abduction. Whether it's an abduction or a runaway, a child needs to be found. We need to change this law."
    
Cleveland police said then that the alerts must be reserved for cases in which danger is imminent and the public can be of help in locating the suspect and child.

  • LocalMore>>

  • West Nile virus found in Ottawa Hills

    West Nile virus found in Ottawa Hills

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:22:07 GMT
    West Nile is in Northwest Ohio. Biologists are confirming that 30 mosquitos tested positive for the virus. The test site where the infected mosquitos were found is in the Ottawa Hills area by Central Avenue. 30 mosquitos gathered around the second week of July were found to be carrying the virus. Health officials warn just one bite from an infected mosquito can give you the virus. In most people, West Nile feels like the flu, with aches, pains and fatigue. In some, the virus can be very ...
    West Nile is in Northwest Ohio. Biologists are confirming that 30 mosquitos tested positive for the virus. The test site where the infected mosquitos were found is in the Ottawa Hills area by Central Avenue. 30 mosquitos gathered around the second week of July were found to be carrying the virus. Health officials warn just one bite from an infected mosquito can give you the virus. In most people, West Nile feels like the flu, with aches, pains and fatigue. In some, the virus can be very ...
  • Bryan police chief stepping down; new chief named

    Bryan police chief stepping down; new chief named

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:25:04 GMT
    Could new leadership bring a break in a cold case murder that the 13abc I-Team profiled recently? The community of Bryan may soon find out. There will be a new police chief in Bryan starting Mid-September. And that chief will have one major case hanging over his department as it has been over the last 5 years. Bryan police chief Jeff Arnold submitted his resignation Friday and the city council voted to accept it in a special meeting Monday. He will leave his post September 14th.
    Could new leadership bring a break in a cold case murder that the 13abc I-Team profiled recently? The community of Bryan may soon find out. There will be a new police chief in Bryan starting Mid-September. And that chief will have one major case hanging over his department as it has been over the last 5 years. Bryan police chief Jeff Arnold submitted his resignation Friday and the city council voted to accept it in a special meeting Monday. He will leave his post September 14th.
  • Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. train derailment

    Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. train derailment

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:06:26 GMT
    25 days after a train derailed at the Crissey Road Crossing, 11 overturned rail cars and piles of other parts remain between the tracks and Old Airport Highway. 
    25 days after a train derailed at the Crissey Road Crossing, 11 overturned rail cars and piles of other parts remain between the tracks and Old Airport Highway. 

  • RegionalMore>>

  • Authorities: Man charged in sister's slaying

    Authorities: Man charged in sister's slaying

    Monday, July 28 2014 1:12 PM EDT2014-07-28 17:12:22 GMT
    Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder and torture in the slaying of his 30-year-old sister in suburban Detroit. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office says Asyh Elmawri died Saturday from a combination of strangulation and multiple stab wounds. On Monday, the Wayne County prosecutor's office charged Haron Rajeh Elmawri with first-degree murder and torture.
    Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder and torture in the slaying of his 30-year-old sister in suburban Detroit. The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office says Asyh Elmawri died Saturday from a combination of strangulation and multiple stab wounds. On Monday, the Wayne County prosecutor's office charged Haron Rajeh Elmawri with first-degree murder and torture.
  • Thunderstorms knock down trees, black out 150,000

    Thunderstorms knock down trees, black out 150,000

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:52:38 GMT
    A series of severe thunderstorms has hit Michigan's Lower Peninsula, packing winds of up to 50 miles per hour that knocked down trees, ripped roofs off buildings and blacked out more than 120,000 homes and businesses.
    A series of severe thunderstorms has hit Michigan's Lower Peninsula, packing winds of up to 50 miles per hour that knocked down trees, ripped roofs off buildings and blacked out at least 150,000 homes and businesses.
  • Up to $4.5M available to improve Great Lakes water

    Up to $4.5M available to improve Great Lakes water

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:36 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:36:25 GMT
    Grants totaling up to $4.5 million to improve Great Lakes water quality are available to cities on the lakes' shorelines.
    Grants totaling up to $4.5 million to improve Great Lakes water quality are available to cities on the lakes' shorelines.
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • West Nile virus found in Ottawa Hills

    West Nile virus found in Ottawa Hills

    Monday, July 28 2014 8:22 PM EDT2014-07-29 00:22:07 GMT
    West Nile is in Northwest Ohio. Biologists are confirming that 30 mosquitos tested positive for the virus. The test site where the infected mosquitos were found is in the Ottawa Hills area by Central Avenue. 30 mosquitos gathered around the second week of July were found to be carrying the virus. Health officials warn just one bite from an infected mosquito can give you the virus. In most people, West Nile feels like the flu, with aches, pains and fatigue. In some, the virus can be very ...
    West Nile is in Northwest Ohio. Biologists are confirming that 30 mosquitos tested positive for the virus. The test site where the infected mosquitos were found is in the Ottawa Hills area by Central Avenue. 30 mosquitos gathered around the second week of July were found to be carrying the virus. Health officials warn just one bite from an infected mosquito can give you the virus. In most people, West Nile feels like the flu, with aches, pains and fatigue. In some, the virus can be very ...
  • Bryan police chief stepping down; new chief named

    Bryan police chief stepping down; new chief named

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:25 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:25:04 GMT
    Could new leadership bring a break in a cold case murder that the 13abc I-Team profiled recently? The community of Bryan may soon find out. There will be a new police chief in Bryan starting Mid-September. And that chief will have one major case hanging over his department as it has been over the last 5 years. Bryan police chief Jeff Arnold submitted his resignation Friday and the city council voted to accept it in a special meeting Monday. He will leave his post September 14th.
    Could new leadership bring a break in a cold case murder that the 13abc I-Team profiled recently? The community of Bryan may soon find out. There will be a new police chief in Bryan starting Mid-September. And that chief will have one major case hanging over his department as it has been over the last 5 years. Bryan police chief Jeff Arnold submitted his resignation Friday and the city council voted to accept it in a special meeting Monday. He will leave his post September 14th.
  • Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. train derailment

    Toppled rail cars remain along tracks after Springfield Twp. train derailment

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-07-28 22:06:26 GMT
    25 days after a train derailed at the Crissey Road Crossing, 11 overturned rail cars and piles of other parts remain between the tracks and Old Airport Highway. 
    25 days after a train derailed at the Crissey Road Crossing, 11 overturned rail cars and piles of other parts remain between the tracks and Old Airport Highway. 

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!